Established in 1868, Memorial Day (originally known as Decoration Day) honors those who have died in military service for the United States. It’s a day of reflection and remembrance for their ultimate sacrifice.
When I was little, my mom and dad would buy red poppies for us to wear, but I haven’t seen them in a long time.
It’s also a three-day holiday and lots of tourists are here, but it’s still early and cloudy, so it’s not too crowded on the roads or the beach.
However, the waves are full of surfers packed like sardines waiting for the building swell.
I’m continually surprised that I don’t see more surfer collisions when they’re so close together.
Before it gets so hot and dry that everything dies a slow and painful death, here’s a few pics from the garden:
The raspberries aren’t ready to eat, but oh so pretty cherry red.
Still thriving; a decades old bottlebrush.
Photobombed by my resident Scott’s Oriole. What a show off! Look at how adept he is balancing on the tip of an agave.
And then he flew over to the bottlebrush in time to get his photo taken again.
I have pretty good luck propagating alstroemeria; now it’s blooming everywhere!
And indoors, it looks like all these plants are growing out of the fireplace, but this is where they get the perfect amount of diffused light. My Monstera looks bright and healthy living her best life with a fresh white orchid.
Lots of happy plants in and out. I hope you enjoyed this tour of Casa de Enchanted Seashells!
A May gray morning is the perfect weather for a walk.
My hydrangea is blooming and yes, I know I could turn the flowers blue with the correct fertilizer, but I decided to allow them to retain their natural hue without intervention.
At sundown, this is where I often see coyotes, but nothing right now.
Here’s the entrance to a lagoon path; how adorable is this community fairy village?
I’m not too sure what that big square thingy is on the shoreline, but I didn’t want to walk in the muck with my good walking shoes, so it’ll have to remain a mystery.
It’s rattlesnake season, so I diligently watched where I was going and spied a strange object. It’s not exactly a rock but feels heavy for its size and to me, it looks like a whale. Another treasure to bring home!
I walked to the beach during a May gray morning and sat on top of my usual picnic table to overlook the Pacific Ocean, hoping to see a whale or some dolphins.
I didn’t get lucky this time, but there was a crowded lineup of surfers out there and I couldn’t figure out why ‘cos the waves weren’t all that big.
As I took off my hat, unbraided my hair and shook it free from its constraints to feel the salty breeze, I turned around because I could feel someone standing behind me.
It was a man I often see at the beach; I’m not sure if he’s exactly unsheltered or not, but he stays there for hours, working on a crossword puzzle or reading. I’ve chatted with him a dozen times as he’s a fixture on the boardwalk and he’s very friendly, not at all like the the other guy who wanted to write on me and claim ownership!
He said, “Excuse me for saying so, but you have no idea the unmitigated joy you gave me as I watched you liberate your hair. You have the most beautiful curls, and I wanted to say thank you! That made me very happy.”
His language and phrasing was delightful; old worldly elegant, courtly, very much the gentleman.
I was caught off guard by his lovely comment and thanked him profusely. It made my day even more joyful, that’s for sure.
Before I walked home, I stopped at the restroom. Look at what I found written on the wall! So inspirational!
It’s a manta and an affirmation to love oneself and I couldn’t resist snapping a photo.
PS WordPress is so weird. I didn’t publish this until today, the 15th, but it appears as if I published it the 14th, which I did not. WP is strange…
Last year I attended the first ever North County Monarch Butterfly Festival. I’m glad to learn that it’s coming back again this Mother’s Day weekend.
The Festival highlights all aspects of the Monarch universe, from monarch-inspired arts and crafts to jewelry, clothing, biology, pollinator gardening, milkweed and nectar plant propagation and cultivating. Join discussions and presentations on a wide range of subjects, such as conservation and butterfly migration, habitat restoration and creation; talks on diseases and predators to gardening with native plants. It’s a great event for families with children’s activities and seed exchanges. (Event link below.)
In my garden, I thought my milkweed plants had died, but they miraculously returned and are doing well.
Planting milkweed is one of the easiest ways that each of us can make a difference for the Monarch. There are more than one hundred species of this wildflower native to North America. Here are just a dozen:
SymphonyinYellow An omnibus across the bridge Crawls like a yellow butterfly And, here and there, a passer-by Shows like a little restless midge.
Big barges full of yellow hay Are moored against the shadowy wharf, And, like a yellow silken scarf, The thick fog hangs along the quay.
The yellow leaves begin to fade And flutter from the Temple elms, And at my feet the pale green Thames Lies like a rod of rippled jade. –Oscar Wilde
This Bush Poppy (Dendromecon rigida) is a California native shrub. It’s a tough and beautiful plant but only if planted in the right conditions. The Bush Poppy thrives on rocky clay slopes with excellent draining. If planted in sandier soils, it can handle supplementary water up to once a month. Prefers full sun. Flowers are beautiful, as are the long, thin, blue-green leaves.
Look at this lemony yellow azalea. I didn’t even know they came in yellow until I used the info app on my phone to identify this gorgeous girl. I think it’s actually called Rhododendron ‘Lemon Lights’.
I love to look at historical photos and was fascinated by the pervasive documentation of how little human respect there was (and still is) for our planet.
Whether it was harming the environment by tearing up the earth to find gold in 1848 which caused irreversible damage or pillaging and plundering the ground for oil, it’s tragic to see that we don’t seem to have learned much about co-existing in harmony with nature without polluting and destroying our world.
I remember when my parents would drive up to Los Angeles to visit relatives and I’d see a few oil derricks along the way, but nothing like this.
Though conventional oil reserves have dwindled, oil drilling in the Los Angeles area remains. Oil rigs dot the city but are often hidden from sight through the use of tall fences, clandestine structures, or by drilling in LA’s low-income neighborhoods.
Apparently, petroleum had already been in use by Native Americans for about 13,000 years. They relied on oil primarily as a lubricant but also as a sealant to waterproof canoes.
Following the initial oil discovery in California in 1872, Edward L. Doheny struck the massive Los Angeles oilfield in 1892, thirty-five miles south of the Pico Canyon.
FYI…It’s been reported that the recent runoff from California’s historic rainy season has exposed more gold around Placerville, the heart of gold country. Treasure seekers are dusting off their metal detectors and searching for the shiny stuff. With gold prices hovering at approximately $2,700 per ounce, it’s going to look like an episode of Aussie Gold Hunters out there.
From my native garden in the front yard, where we planted everything but a lawn. We have white and purple sages, buckwheat, coffeeberry, lemonade berry, ceanothus, and a sprawling wild Rock Rose.
I loved the way the sun was shining on these hot pink blooms. No filter, nothing but natural beauty.
The flower is used to make medicine and is commonly used in Bach flower remedies. Rock Rose is purported to treat panic, stress, extreme fright or fear, and anxiety; and for promoting calmness and relaxation.
The oleo-resin obtained from the leaves and stems is used as a commercial food flavoring in baked goods, ice cream, and chewing gum.
Leaves, flowers, and stems can all be harvested and used to make tea. I haven’t tried it yet, but I plan to do it soon.
When I was in college, we lived across the street from a wild place, an abandoned and untended avocado grove blanketed with nasturtiums. Their long tendrils would wind up and around the gnarled trunks.
After school, my friends and I would sit under the trees and pick tiny avocados from the low hanging branches and gorge on them until we were full, and then we’d lie back in the pillowy nasturtium leaves and pretend we were forest fairies.
We’d sometimes weave orange and yellow tiaras through our hair, and always pick a bouquet to bring home.
I love their tangy but sweet fragrance and often add the flowers to salads, but only the ones from my garden that I’m sure are pesticide-free.
All the rain birthed my own enchanted nasturtium forest this year.