Monday, April 14, 2014

Classically California

Here it is! California poppies are known in many other places (because they are happy to seed themselves profusely) but it is in California that you can find sheets of them in meadows and hillsides and along the roadsides, too! It is the classic springtime treat if you find them paired with Ceanothus, or California lilac. Near Valley Center in northern San Diego County, they grow along a country road, which is appropriately named Lilac Road. This picture was taken Saturday on the trip to Tilden Botanical Gardens near Berkeley. Since orange and blue are complementary colors, as I learned in the Fourth Grade, they are perfect companions! The delicate ferny leaves and four-petal blossoms of the poppy are also perfectly set off by the masses of ceanothus bloom!

The Tilden Garden was begun in 1940, and some of the early construction work was done by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Some of their stonework can still be seen in the garden. Now there are four gardeners and a master gardener working to maintain and improve it. It is arranged for each of the biomes in California and upper Baja California. There are sections for example for the desert and redwood forest.

And here is some Thoreau, one of his many observant musings about nature, and her ways, from his Journals. Would he have thought this garden not quite natural enough? But I. I was extremely happy fore the chance to visit in springtime!

September 17, 1841

Nature never makes haste; her systems revolve at an even pace. The bud swells imperceptibly, without hurry or confusion, as though the short spring days were an eternity. All her operations seem separately, for the time, the single object for which all things tarry. Why, then, should man hasten as it anything less than eternity were allotted for the leastd deed? Let him consume never so many aeons, so that he go about the meanest task well, though it be but the paring of his nails. If the setting sun seems to hurry him to improve the day while it lasts, the chant of the crickets fails not to reassure him, even-measured as of old, teaching him to take his own time henceforth forever. The wise man is restful, never restless or impatient. He each moment abides there where he is, as some walkers acutally rest the whole body at each step, while others never relax the muscles of the leg until fatigue obliges them to stop short.

Henry David Thoreau,
from The Heart of Thoreau's Journals; edited by Odell Shephard, Dover, 1927, 1961, page 9.


  1. Pretty flower photos! I like that poem because I've always been a bit restless and I'm trying to become more like the wise man .

    1. Always great to hear your responses. I keep thinking I will finish everyday blogging, but I am really enjoying foing it so . . . We all are working on the wise thing.