Chinese privet- Local Flora – Stay at home stroll – 16

This is a series about the neighborhood flowers and flowering trees that I saw and enjoyed on my walk in the neighborhood during the stay at home months.  Many of the flowers I don’t know much about and depend on Google lens to get a name.  If there are mistakes, apologize for my ignorance.

I just don’t understand who names plants.  No rhyme and reason at all.  Not sure why this is called Chinese privet unless the person in charge of naming this first saw this in China.  In fact this is so ubiquitous in our area that I would have completely missed it except for the loud humming of myriads of bees as I was walking by the side of a house.  People use it in many homes as boundary dividers or as ornamental hedge.  I walk by these every day and never give them a second glance.  But the humming of the bees made me look to my side and I found the hedges erupting with this beautiful and very mildly fragrant flowers.  Later on I read that the small berry like fruits that the plant produce are poisonous.  No wonder people use this as boundary hedges.

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thy sublime beauty

hides a mystery

fruits you produce, if eaten

will cause misery


A Rose is a rose

 

 

 

Spanish Broom- Local Flora – Stay at home stroll – 15

This is a series about the neighborhood flowers and flowering trees that I saw and enjoyed on my walk in the neighborhood during the stay at home months.  Many of the flowers I don’t know much about and depend on Google lens to get a name.  If there are mistakes, apologize for my ignorance.

This may feel like cheating for three reasons.  First, it was not exactly a stroll, it was more of a drive. Second, it was not in the neighborhood, unless I could claim seventeen miles south from my house as neighborhood. And third and last, it’s not exactly a local flora.  This is an invasive species in California.  However these flowers captivated me so much along with the scenery that I hope my dear readers would forgive my transgressions.

Due to the stay at home restrictions we had been driving our cars very little now a days, using it mainly for grocery shopping once in two weeks.  Unfortunately one of the car’s battery died prematurely yesterday.  After a call to CSAA (California State Automobile Association) and getting a jump start, I was advised to take it for a long drive to charge the battery.  I chose to take a back road south of our home through the countryside.  Glad I decided to do that.  The two lane road goes through some low rolling hills and wooded areas with a few reservoirs by the roadside and couple of county parks.  Some seventeen miles south of our home, the beautiful vista near Uvas Reservoir County Park with its tranquil beauty was glistening in the afternoon sunlight.  I was afraid to turn off the engine, fearing that the car may not start again, and decided against a walk.  That did not stop me from enjoying the scenery from the roadside and nearly empty parking lot at the entrance to the park.

Can anyone imagine using these beautiful flowers as brooms?  Whoever gave that name must have a weird sense of humor.  Not the Spanish, I hope.

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tranquil and serene

lies the placid waters of the lake  

spanish beauties serenade

the entrance to take


A Rose is a rose

 

 

 

Aaron’s Beard (or Perforate St John’s-wort)- Local Flora – Stay at home stroll – 14

This is a series about the neighborhood flowers and flowering trees that I saw and enjoyed on my walk in the neighborhood during the stay at home months.  Many of the flowers I don’t know much about and depend on Google lens to get a name.  If there are mistakes, apologize for my ignorance.

It was a misty morning yesterday when I took my dog Skooby out for a walk.  My wife accompanied me. It was a very pleasant morning, cool with a continuous drizzle that was mostly a fine mist than rain. Environment was surreal, like being transported back to a mystical land.  About a mile walk from our house is a small city park adjacent to the local elementary park.  Though the park benches are closed and cordoned off due to the corona virus preventive measures, the park itself is open to public for strolls. Whenever I take a walk that side with Skooby, I make it a point to go there for a mundane reason, the park has trash cans where one can deposit the dog poo bags and I make it a point to do that instead of carrying it with me all throughout the walk.  Imagine my surprise, as I was depositing the load and the sun came out momentarily from behind the clouds.  Right next to the trash can was this bush with the beautiful yellow flowers dazzling in the sun with leaves moistened by rain drops.  I must have seen that bush hundreds of times before but never did it look so magical.  However when I found out the name, only thought that came to my mind was that whoever had named it must be in the most inebriated state to name such a beautiful flower with someone’s beards or wort. What a calamity!  

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a misty morning brightened up

your mere presence filled the heart  

soothing like the moon

lighting up the night


A Rose is a rose

 

 

 

Snapdragons- Local Flora – Stay at home stroll – 8

This is a series about the neighborhood flowers and flowering trees that I saw and enjoyed on my walk in the neighborhood during the stay at home months.  Many of the flowers I don’t know much about and depend on Google lens to get a name.  If there are mistakes, apologize for my ignorance.

Definitely does not look anything like a dragon to me.  Who in their right mind will call these beautiful flowers dragons?  The only snapdragons that I knew of, before looking up the name of these ornamental flowers brightening the front yards of many neighbors, were the processors from Qualcomm that many cell phones use as their cpu.  Seasonal by nature, these beauties are a sight to behold.  We have a few in our garden but they have not started blooming yet. Coming in varieties of color, they really lights up a garden.

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Dragons you are not

Such a beautiful sight

Brighten up a garden

A heart’s delight


A Rose is a rose

 

 

 

Cistus or pink rock-rose- Local Flora – Stay at home stroll – 7

This is a series about the neighborhood flowers and flowering trees that I saw and enjoyed on my walk in the neighborhood during the stay at home months.  Many of the flowers I don’t know much about and depend on Google lens to get a name.  If there are mistakes, apologize for my ignorance.

Is not that a beautiful flower? I had seen that in some other places also at different times in the wild.  Not sure I can call this one wild though.  This was by the side of a fitness trail on a subdivision near our home. Wild or not, the color was what drew me to it.  It was so bright.  

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You touched my heart

With color so bright

Dazzling like a jewel

In bright sunlight


A Rose is a rose

 

 

 

Cherry Blossom- Local Flora – Stay at home stroll – 6

This is a series about the neighborhood flowers and flowering trees that I saw and enjoyed on my walk in the neighborhood during the stay at home months.  Many of the flowers I don’t know much about and depend on Google lens to get a name.  If there are mistakes, apologize for my ignorance.

Spring is cherry blossom time in our neighborhood.  Though our neighborhood cherry blossoms can not compete with the national mall in Washington DC, still they brighten up the neighborhood with their radiant beauty.  Many households have them in their front yards.  The flowering cherry trees that stand stark naked all through out the winter suddenly comes to life with vibrant colors.  Alas, the blooms are short lived.  Soon they will give away to green leaves as the colorful blooms vanish one by one. No fruits will follow.  Such is the law of nature, the cycle of life.  At Least I did not have to use Google lens to know what are those beautiful blooms. 

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Though your stay is short

With colors vibrant and petals so soft

You brighten up the landscape

Before you deport


A Rose is a rose

 

 

 

Regal pelargonium- Local Flora – Stay at home stroll – 5

This is a series about the neighborhood flowers and flowering trees that I saw and enjoyed on my walk in the neighborhood during the stay at home months.  Many of the flowers I don’t know much about and depend on Google lens to get a name.  If there are mistakes, apologize for my ignorance.

I am sure nearly everyone of my readers will be identify this one.  I have couple of varieties of this in my garden.  This is the season that these bright colored flowers bloom in abundance.  As I walk the streets of our neighborhood, I can some many varieties in peoples front yard and by the roadside.  Though Google lens identifies these as Regal pelargonium, I always knew them as geraniums.  Shows my knowledge about flowers.  When I took this photo, the two flowers together reminded me of a fluttering butterfly just about to take flight.  That was nearly three weeks back.  When I look at it today, it still looks to me like a beautiful butterfly.  Let me know what you think.

As you can see from the photo, it was a very bright day when I took the photo.  Not an ideal lighting condition for taking a photo with a cell phone without much control on aperture , shutter speeds etc,  However the flowers were so vibrant that with some trial and error I was successful in capturing the flowers in the foreground without blowing the highlights completely.  

On a different note, after nearly a month and half, I went out hiking on Stiles Ranch Trails.  Will write about that in another post.  Have a nice weekend.  I hope to go back to writing poems during the weekend, picking up this thread next Monday.  Have a good weekend dear readers and stay safe.

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Where are you heading

My beauty

Spreading your wings to take flight

Rooted to the ground

You fill my heart with delight


A Rose is a rose

Hiking Stile Ranch Trails

 

 

Spring Blossom- Local Flora – Stay at home stroll – 4

This is a series about the neighborhood flowers and flowering trees that I saw and enjoyed on my walk in the neighborhood during the stay at home months.  Many of the flowers I don’t know much about and depend on Google lens to get a name.  If there are mistakes, apologize for my ignorance.

The photo below was taken during the very early part of WFH (work from home) advisory as a precaution to avoid contracting COVID-19. Stay at home was still a few days ahead.  Since eighteen sixty four, this was the first rainless February in our area and spring came early.  Just to give some space to my better half who was still getting accustomed to the routine of WFH, I used to take long walks in the morning.  The weather was gorgeous, sunny, dry and cool and outdoor was much more inviting than being confronted by an unhappy spouse forced to be confined in an unoptimized workspace.  During one of those walks, mile and a half from my home, I was suddenly blinded by the sight of these beautiful trees in full bloom. I  had walked by this same street a few days back and I was sure that the trees were barren. I took out my cell phone and took few photos.  Sunlight was blinding and I could barely see my cellphone screen due to the glare.  As I was going through my cell phone gallery today, I saw a couple that I could resurrect with a little bit of post processing.  I am still not happy with the end result because the flowers are not distinct enough.  Google lens show this as Eugenia dysenterica but to me it looked more like Cherry blossom.  Ah well, what’s in a name.  Who am I to question what Keats said; ” A thing of beauty is a joy for ever”.   

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Brightened the season

And dazzled my heart

Your beauty

Worth the wait


A Rose is a rose

 

 

Empress Tree(Paulownia)*- Local Flora – Stay at home stroll – 3

Couple of weeks back, on a weekend, I was taking an after lunch walk with my wife around our neighborhood.  The day was sunny and bright but cool.  Our dog Skooby was with us.  Whenever he goes out with both of us he becomes super excited.  As a result our walks become leisurely because he has to stop everywhere trying to take in all the smells that nature presents.  This particular day I was rewarded for my patience with Skooby.  As we were taking a turn on the road towards our home, my eyes were dazzled with the sight of blooming flowers bathed in sunlight.  It was just one tree among few other non-descript trees near a creek. Behind the creek there was a small meadow with tall grass.  I could hardly see any leaf on the tree.  Whole tree, from top to bottom, was just covered in dazzlingly bright flowers.  Sunlight was quite strong and it was difficult for me to get a photo with enough contrast of the whole tree with my cell phone.  So I had to be satisfied with a zoomed in shot of the flowers.  I had no idea what those flowers were.  My knowledge about flowers are minimal.  So I had to use Google lens to identify what it was called.  Empress tree or one of the members of the paulownia family.  If any of my readers can identify it clearly and update, it will be much appreciated. 

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Dazzling jewels

Bathed in sunlight

Fit to adorn a regina

Empress of the wild


A Rose is a rose

*  The name Empress Tree or Paulownia was found using Google lens.

 

California Poppy- Local Flora – Stay at home stroll – 2

The state flower of the Golden State, California, is aptly California Poppy heralding the advent of spring. Luckily its enchanting beauty is intoxicating for the eyes and heart and not the source of the drug opium. As the rainy season tapers down and the temperature warms up, roadsides and hills get covered with blooming poppies, opening their hearts to the sun.  In my blog I had written before the enchanting sight of hillside in Santa Teresa County Park completely covered by blooming poppies.  However this season, due to the restrictions I have not gone hiking on the trails of Santa Teresa County Park and had to satisfy myself with local blooms by the roadsides and creeksides.  Though California poppies are planted in gardens, I find them more beautiful in the wild.California poppy (2)

Graceful you are

The California State flower

Enchanting but not addictive

Brighten the hearts of nature lovers


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A Rose is a rose