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Mt. Soledad, Mt. Woodson, Cowles Mountain for spectacular sunsets

Tly Anza Borrego canyons for palm fruit

California fan palms line the main streets of Palm Springs.
California fan palms line the main streets of Palm Springs.

Ripening Palm Fruit, hanging in great clusters on California’s native fan palms (Washingtonia filifera), can be seen this month. Native Americans of centuries past utilized the black, pea-sized fruit, which consists of a deliciously sweet but almost paperthin skin surrounding a hard seed. (These are not “California dates” — the fruit of cultivated palms introduced into California’s deserts from northern Africa.) Our native fan palms can be seen in their natural habitat in about two dozen canyons within Anza Borrego Desert State Park. They have been planted widely elsewhere in California, including along the main streets of Palm Springs.

Cowles Mountain overlooking San Diego at sunset

Spectacular Sunsets and Sunrises are characteristic of late fall and early winter’s dry spells. You can drive up to Soledad Park atop Mount Soledad in La Jolla or Mount Helix near La Mesa for an all encompassing view. Or try hiking up to vantage points such as Cowles Mountain in the San Carlos area and Woodson Mountain near Ramona. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight for the trip up or down.

At this time of year the Big Dipper lies shyly down at its lowest just after dark, due north. It’s entirely below the north horizon if you’re as far south as Miami. But by midnight the Dipper stands straight up on its handle in fine view in the northeast — while Cassiopeia has wheeled over to the northwest to stand nearly upright on the bright end of its W shape.

Seen any early Geminid meteors yet? The shower is due to peak late on the night of December 13-14.

The above comes from the Outdoors listings in the Reader compiled by Jerry Schad, author of Afoot & Afield in San Diego County. Schad died in 2011. Planet information from SkyandTelescope.org.

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Convergence Community Church: community is our middle name

We envision a place where the people of God converge with the purpose of God
California fan palms line the main streets of Palm Springs.
California fan palms line the main streets of Palm Springs.

Ripening Palm Fruit, hanging in great clusters on California’s native fan palms (Washingtonia filifera), can be seen this month. Native Americans of centuries past utilized the black, pea-sized fruit, which consists of a deliciously sweet but almost paperthin skin surrounding a hard seed. (These are not “California dates” — the fruit of cultivated palms introduced into California’s deserts from northern Africa.) Our native fan palms can be seen in their natural habitat in about two dozen canyons within Anza Borrego Desert State Park. They have been planted widely elsewhere in California, including along the main streets of Palm Springs.

Cowles Mountain overlooking San Diego at sunset

Spectacular Sunsets and Sunrises are characteristic of late fall and early winter’s dry spells. You can drive up to Soledad Park atop Mount Soledad in La Jolla or Mount Helix near La Mesa for an all encompassing view. Or try hiking up to vantage points such as Cowles Mountain in the San Carlos area and Woodson Mountain near Ramona. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight for the trip up or down.

At this time of year the Big Dipper lies shyly down at its lowest just after dark, due north. It’s entirely below the north horizon if you’re as far south as Miami. But by midnight the Dipper stands straight up on its handle in fine view in the northeast — while Cassiopeia has wheeled over to the northwest to stand nearly upright on the bright end of its W shape.

Seen any early Geminid meteors yet? The shower is due to peak late on the night of December 13-14.

The above comes from the Outdoors listings in the Reader compiled by Jerry Schad, author of Afoot & Afield in San Diego County. Schad died in 2011. Planet information from SkyandTelescope.org.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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