Southern California is an unique and unusual region. It is a perfect place to live. Southern California is different than any other state in America. It has fantastic weather much like the Mediterranean. In fact, Southern California’s weather is better. Unlike the Mediterranean coast, Southern California has no sultry summer air, no mosquito-ridden malarial marshes, no mistral winds. A freak of nature – a cool and semi-moist desert – Southern California is climatically insulated, shut off from the rest of the continent.
Even though Southern California’s weather seems to be monotonous, there are sharp contrasts. Mornings are cool with dense fog, but the afternoons are hot and clear. The grass on the hills change overnight from green to brown when it rains. In some places we can see both "giant trees" and "bare slopes" or "burnt sand" and "riotous flowers" at the same time. I remember when I went to the mountains for a biology field trip, I was shocked by what I saw. The east side of the mountain was dry, sandy, and brown, but the west side of the mountain was moist and full of green plants. I have never seen this kind of view anywhere but Southern California.
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Southern California is the only place in the U.S. with its own climate. It has five seasons: two springs, two summers and a season of rain, unlike other places where there are four different seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter.
The weather is California’s only resource. In Southern California, there are no raw materials, such as good soil, natural harbors, lumber forest, or mineral resources. The only natural resources we have are the sky, air, ocean breezes and a little rain. Almost every lake I know in Southern California is man-made, which I was surprise and to learn. The climate of Southern California is a salable commodity. It can be labled, priced and marketed. It is easy to predict the weather because it is so consistent that it is not something that you can talk about, complain about or guess about. It is the weather which caused Southern California’s unparalleled growth. It is one of the only places to grow so much with so few natural resources. It is an artificial region. People have brought in or built what nature didn’t provide. It is because the people of Southern California have worked so hard to make Southern California such a successful region, and it was the weather that made those people want to work so hard to make Southern California a place worth living in.
When I first came to Southern California I was very surprised. Everything in this state was so wonderful and perfect. In Taiwan, which is my native country, the weather is bad, and the streets are full of cars, houses, nosie, and air pollution. It is very uncomfortable to live there because everything is so small, dirty, and congested. After I came here I started wondering why, if Taiwan has a lot of natural resources such as natural harbors, good soil, forests, minerals and lakes, are our living conditions so much worse? I think that the reason the lifestyles are so different is that everyone has to learn to live with what’s around them. As I had mentioned before we do not have fantastic weather like Southern California in my native country. During the summer the weather in my country is very hot and humid. It does not cool down in the evening or morning like in Southern California. We often have typhoons and rains, which typhoons destroy our houses, crops, billboards, and even people.
In Southern California it is possible to visit two very different places in one day. In Taiwan there is only one view, no matter where you go. If you want to see different scenery, it is necessary to drive all day to find it. There was once where I went to Palm Spring with two of my good friends. On the way to Palm Spring, we saw many very different regions and plants. The first region we saw was desert, which is intensely dry and hot. When I looked through the window the only plants that I saw were cactus. It seemed incredibly boring and ugly, and I thought that if our car broke down there, we certainly would die, because there were no houses in the area and nobody to help us. After we drove about ninety minutes, I started to see trees around us, such as maples, oaks, and hickories. The scenery in this region was prettier and the weather was not as hot as the desert. All we saw were green plants and the air felt much more comfortable. I hope one day I can live in an area like that. When we were close to Palm Springs, I started to see pines, spruce and other tall trees. We took the tram up into the mountains, and there was snow all over the trees and ground. It was so beautiful, I could not wait to touch the snow. After we arrived, the first thing I did was to grab the snow and feel it. The snow was cold but soft. I had an urge to eat the snow but I could not, because people would laugh at me. When it was time to go home, we decided to have dinner together and watch the sunset. Our favorite place to watch the sunset however is Laguna Beach, so we went to Laguna Beach for dinner. When we arrived at Laguna Beach it was about 4:30, and the sun was dropping into the ocean. All the colors of the sun shimmering on the water were so beautiful and so romantic.
Southern California is the land of the "sun-down sea," where the sun suddenly plummets into the ocean, disappearing "like a lost and bloody cause." That day, I really had fun. I only went two different places but it seemed like I had been to many. I saw many different landscapes in one day. This would not have been possible anywhere but Southern California, even though it was spring, it felt like winter in the mountain and summer in the desert and at the beach. I could go up to the mountains to play in the snow and go down to the beach for dinner and watch the sunset in one day. Those things are what make Southern California so special and unique.
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