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The Valley of Southern California

land, water, climate, people, region, near, sea, mountains and winter

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THE VALLEY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA See on the map, Figs. 91 and 163, how this region lies in the southwestern corner of California, in a kind of hollow made by the mountains as they bend westward toward the seacoast. How high are the mountains that form the eastern and northern boundaries? Would they be more valuable to this rather dry valley if they were twice as high. (Sec. 158, Fig. 157.) 178. Bounds and surface.—This region consists of a narrow coast plain and several valleys, of which the largest is the Los Angeles-San Bernardino Valley.

This is the smallest districtwehavestudied, but it has more people than several districts of larger area. The population of the city of Los Angeles alone has reached 576,673 (1920 census), ranking tenth among the cities of the Uni ted States. Pasadena has 45,344, and San Diego 74,683 people.

179. Climate and scen ery.—Why are there so many people in this small region? The reasons are two: climate and scenery. The people like to speak of their country as a land of delightful climate and of beautiful landscapes. The ocean winds are so warm that frost is rare in the coast district. In the summer these sea winds seem cool because the land is warmer than the water; in winter they seem warm• because the water is warmer than the land. (The temperature of land near the seacoast is usually pleasant.) At night it is so cool, even in summer, that people sleep under blankets, or even enjoy sitting by a fire. But only a short distance inland the summer temperature some times reaches 100°. From 1875-90 (9496 days) there were at San Diego 9181 days with the temperature not above 80° nor below 40°.

180. Climate and occupa tions.—Wonderful climate is the chief resource of Southern California, for climate makes possible the three great occupations of the region: the growing of fruit and vegetables; the search for health and pleas ure; and the making of mov ing-picture films. Many thousands of tourists go to Southern California each winter to escape the bliz zards and snows of the northern and eastern sec tions of the United States, and to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Many other thou sands go to live there per manently. Recently the people who had moved from Iowa to Southern California met together for a picnic near Pasadena, and twenty seven thousand persons attended. Many such pic nics could be held by those who have moved there from other states.

In this region one may see orange groves, blooming roses, fields green with grain and alfalfa, and in the distance mountains with pine trees on their slopes and glistening snows upon their summits. The warm Pacific near by invites to bathing and boat ing, and to journeys by boat to Santa Catalina and other islands near the coast.

It is no wonder that so many people go to California to improve their health and to have a good vacation.

181. The moving picture industry.—Man ufacturers of films for moving pictures have found that the pleasant climate and beauti ful and varied scenery of Los Angeles and vicinity are ideal for their enterprise. The seashore, cities, palm trees, orchards, farms, hills, and mountains furnish suitable back grounds for almost every kind of scene that can be needed. Thousands of people in or near Los Angeles are engaged in this indus try, and almost every moving picture theater in the United States shows films made in this locality.

182. The winter is a misfortune of this region that the rain falls chiefly in the winter and not at all for three months in summer. Why does it so happen? During the winter, the land is cooler than the sea, and the sea wind, cooled by coming to the land, drops some of its moisture as rain. (Secs. 155, 158.) This fact causes the rainy season, which begins in November and con tinues until April. From April to November the land is warmer than the sea. The sea wind is then warmed as soon as it strikes the land, and thereby becomes a drying wind instead of a rain-bearing wind (Sec. 1551. For weeks and months at a time in summer, the sun shines and there is rarely a shower. Compare Figs. 180 and 89. The dust flies and settles everywhere, even on the leaves of trees. . Fields become brown, except where water can be had for irrigation. Irrigated spots make patches of bright green in the brown land. On the higher slopes of the mountains, enough rain and snow fall to keep some forests growing. (Sec. 160.) 183. The struggle for climate is so good for oranges, lemons, and other valuable fruits that growers make a great effort to get water. If water can be had, an acre of bare land worth only $100 can be made into an orchard worth $1500 or $2000. Water! Water! Water! Every thing depends upon getting it. Deep wells are dug and long tunnels are driven back into the hillsides, and the water thus captured from streams far beneath the surface is pumped to the places that need it. To keep the water from soaking into the earth before it reaches the trees, it is often carried in pipes or in cement-lined ditches. Great sums of money have been spent to build the dams, ditches, and pipes needed, but the large crops make it profitable, 184. Frost drainage or thermal belts.—Togrow oranges in this region two things not easy to get at the same place are required. One i. frost drainage of the uplands, and the other is irrigation of uplands.

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