I know, I know. Too many plants! But this one was too freaky to pass by. Does this not remind you of things Herman Munster? Or a starfish reincarnated as a cactus flower? If you look *closely, you will see a little mound of flies (ick, yes, flies) that cannot resist the (fly-) aphrodisiac the flower contains. And it’s growing in a pot somewhere in La Mesa… [sound effect: Dr Evil’s laugh]
*click on image
This giant cactus sits in a front yard I drive by every day. It’s shaped like a menorah gone crazy and it’s so large you could probably set up a 2-man tent under it if you wanted to pretend you were camping in the desert. Most of the year its branches are bare except for the spiky seams that run up and down its ridges. At Christmas the owners carefully wrap each section of it with tiny lights. About once a year I pass by and am stopped in my tracks by the sheer beauty of the hundred or so flowers that it has draped itself in. Hiding amongst the pale yellow flowers and silver-green stalks are lumps that look like someone has decorated it with plums.
Yesterday I could no longer pass by without taking a picture of it. It was early, the sun was still making its way up the sky. I noticed most of the flowers were pointed instead of open. (Do they do what morning glories do?) In the few minutes it took me to run home and grab my camera they had already begun to open. As I stepped forward to see the flowers more closely I noticed a mini swarm of bees that must have thought, like me, they had “struck the mother load”.
Moon over La Mesa morning.
One thing I love about La Mesa – each home is a potential universe unto itself, completely different from its neighbors. (This strikes me that that is true about Americans as people and that it sometimes is our strength and sometimes our burden…) Anyway, I love this home and have sometimes seen its owner out vacuuming his cacti. I’ve only spoken briefly to him about his succulent wonderland but am hoping one day to weasel my way into talking more at length with him about what is obviously his talent and his passion.
Compliments of the Lemon Avenue Elementary School secret garden. Where’s Waldo? (ie can you find the two honey bees?)
The weather in southern California is fickle but somewhere (on the north wall of Trader Joe’s) there is always an example of Nature’s true cadence.
When I lived in France, Valencia oranges came to market in December. I learned that in Spain oranges are a Christmas treat. I noticed this morning that our tree is sporting little baby oranges (she’s trying her best to be Spanish).