West Beach and The Black Skimmers

by Phila Rogers

Locals know that the best time on the beach can be winter time, when most of the visitors have left, the Channel is crisp and clear, and the water birds have arrived. It is the perfect time for long walks in the sand.

The most intriguing winter visitor is the Black Skimmer. You can often find hundreds of them hang out on the beach. The best place to find them is on the West Beach sand spit where Mission Creek flows into the ocean just left of Stearns Wharf.

Black Skimmers at West Beach


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Wintering with Poinsettias

by Phila Rogers 1 Comment

Each holiday seems to have certain colors associated with it. For Easter, it’s the pastel colors – spring greens, pale yellows, pinks, and lavenders.  At Thanksgiving we think of golds and oranges – the colors of turning leaves.

Christmas is unabashedly red – intense red – the right color to warm us at this time of year when nights are long and dark.

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Celebrating Pomegranates

by Courtney Dietz

Pomegranates have become a favorite winter fruit, gracing salads and juice aisles across the country. The name pomegranate comes from Medieval Latin meaning “seeded apple.” 

About Pomegranates from The Santa Barbara Company blog

The exotic fruits grow on small shrub-like trees that lose their leaves as the fruit ripens. In fall and winter, you’ll often see the twisted trunk and naked branches dotted with the large ripening fruit. Because they are drought tolerant, they are a popular crop in California and other Mediterranean climates where they thrive.

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Toyon: California's Christmas Berry

by philajane@gmail.com

Called the Christmas berry, Toyon is certainly one of California's most beautiful shrubs. Its red berries are a dazzling addition to our warm holiday season.


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Beautiful Winter Days in Santa Barbara

by philajane@gmail.com 1 Comment

For most Santa Barbarians, the end of the fall heat is welcome, especially because winter is considered by many to be the finest season of all. With Santa Barbara’s south-facing coastline and the winter sun lower in the southern sky, the scene is set for salubrious days.  Like a convection oven, the Santa Ynez Mountains' protective sandstone slopes reflect the southern sun, bathing the town in warm sunshine.

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