Can you tell what's in season by what's under your car's wheels? First, you see the vehicle in front of you slow down. Then, you stop and start, stop and start. Forty-five minutes later, you coast past and see a pile of oranges that have tumbled from the back of an over-stacked pick-up truck. A fire engine is on the scene, sirens blaring. The driver's hands are up; he's shrugging as a cop takes notes. Meanwhile: marmalade across two lanes.

This morning, at around 6:45, as we drove down the 110 S, this very jam slowed our progress.

We sat for a spell, switching every few seconds between gas and brake, listening to KCRW, and then, suddenly, the traffic parted around and raced around the spilled citrus. As we left the oranges behind, we thought of the flaming yams that shut down the 5 near Glendale less than two months earlier. Being new to Southern Califoria, we wondered: is produce on the loose a hazard drivers frequently encounter on the highways around here?

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