Crowing over the stunning natural beauty of your hometown or region, in a friendly and charming way, is the Californian's birthright.
Nobody wants to be humble about living in Humboldt County, among the redwoods, and there isn't a person on the Central Coast who would shrug, mildly, when asked about the gorgeousness of the pristine beaches.
No less than the Washington Post, with no less than the research-heavy backing by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has now officially condoned our charming, oh-so-California-style crowing. (Condoned with maps and figures, which, really, is the best way to condone anything.)
Washington Post reporter Christopher Ingraham published a mouse-able map plus article on Aug. 17, which is now making the viral rounds, about the natural amenities of every county in the United States. (A recent study looking at religion in nature-rich areas inspired Mr. Ingraham.)
"The natural amenities index," culled from data produced by the USDA, looks at "natural aspects of attractiveness" of a place, aspects that should be "constant and relatively immutable." The physical place itself was the crux of the study, and not changeable aspects, such as plant life or human occupants.
Factors were examined like "low humidity" and "topographic variation" and "mild, sunny winters" and more.
Ranked number one out of 3,111 counties? That would be Ventura County, right here in the Golden State.
California, let it be said — or, let it be crowed, if you prefer — kind of took the cake home on this one: Mono County and Inyo County and Mendocino County all ranked near the top with "extremely high natural amenities," and every county performed average to extremely high.
As for Los Angeles County? We're #7 on the 3,111-county roster. San Diego County stands at #8, and San Francisco County? Big high-fives, you're #6.
A bevy of visitors bureaus and chamber of commerces, all representing various California counties, have taken to social media to do their own excited happy dance. Mono County Tourism posted its ranking -- #16 — on Facebook, with the suggestion that "(y)ou should seriously think about moving here... Like now!"
It's nice to be reminded of the good things that you've got where you live, as if Golden Staters needed more fodder to boast about. Boast charmingly, of course, and in a way that speaks to the gratitude of living among hill-framed sunsets and silky-sand deserts and sequoia trees.
How'd your county rank? Your best friend's county? Your ex? Your college town? You know you want to know.