Tulip Trees (the magnolia kind, not the poplar kind)
These trees lined the side streets of my college campus (not a traditional quad based/segregated from the area campus) and were one of the first things to bloom in the spring bringing the city out of the season I call death.
Out in the suburbs they were little pops of life bringing with them the hope that at some point the landscape will change from the muddy-snow-sand-grossness into something wonderful and amazing.
In California? They are pretty, but without the contrast of despair, death and hibernation they really just don't do much for me. I realized this last week, but really looked at each one on my run today to ensure it wasn't just one bad tree. It's not.
They really are just less impressive in such a lush landscape. The color seems almost muted and while they still have a beauty close up, it just doesn't take my breath away like it does in MA