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.
Stay at home is grinding on. Slowly I am losing count of days and dates. From barely a few infected cases in the beginning of March, the United States of America is now the world leader in number of people infected and deaths. We are in a trajectory to surpass the number of US soldiers who laid down their lives in the Vietnam war. Somewhere the story of make America great again (MAGA) has become the story of make America sick again(MASA). All these acronymsremind me of Indian classical ragas, maga, masa, sani, dhasa etc., etc. Ah, but I digress. Politics is like opium, once one is hooked, difficult to get rid of the bad habit.
Through all these, nature had been busy doing her work. Spring is always beautiful and our valley is at her resplendent best during spring. The medows are verdantand myriad bloomsgrace the area. It seems nature, unburdened by pollution this season, is at her gregarious best. It’s more colorful, more fragrant and more of every adjective one can think of. Ever house frontyards inthe neighborhood been blessed with nature’s beauty. Alas, the owners are all inside locked doors. Not that in general there are people milling around in an American suburb. But normally during spring and summer, weekends and holidays bring people out onto the street. I think Corona or COVID-19 took care of that. However for the brave souls who hazard out of the house to take a stroll, it also offered an uninterrupted opportunity to enjoy the bounty of nature in the neighborhood.
Whenever I am out for a walk with my dog, I have my cell phone with me. The nearly deserted streets invite me literally to stop and smell the roses. And when I am at it, I also try to capture a snapshot to augment my memory. As I was scrolling through my phone gallery today, I realized that I have a large collection of photos of flowers many of which I am not familiar with at all. Now my dear readers, you all may be more knowledgeable than me about flora and fauna of your locality but I have no hesitation of sharing my ignorance. In the process I hope I can brighten your day a little. I promise not to share more than one a day and also promise that all subsequent posts will be brief. So without further adieu, here is the first one.