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Dense ground fogs are a trademark of the onset of autumn along San Diego's coastal strip. Fog materializes during the night and early morning hours when moist marine air that has settled in valleys and low areas is chilled below the dew point. These ground fogs are distinct from the low overcast that usually blankets the coastal strip on late-spring and summer mornings.

Spider webs, decorated with myriads of tiny dew droplets, are a beautiful sight on foggy autumn mornings. Look for them in San Diego's wild canyons and park areas, or in your own back yard.

Chinese flame trees are now displaying colorful clusters of orange, reddish, or salmon-pink seed pods. Good specimens line the south end of Balboa Drive in Balboa Park, and Lake Murray Boulevard through San Diego's San Carlos district. Most of the remainder of San Diego's ornamental trees will continue to remain drab until November, the onset of "autumn" botanically.

A beautiful, thin crescent moon hangs like an ornament low in the southwestern sky during twilight on the evening of Thursday, October 2. Easier-to-spot Venus, a brilliant pinpoint of pure white light, lies to the right of the moon on that same evening. By Monday, October 6, the much fatter first-quarter moon will lie high in the south at dusk, quite near the planet Jupiter.

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