Wednesday, March 3, 2021

it rained!


If you don't live in Southern California, this mightn't seem like huge news.  But - rain!  There's been so little this winter (and of course we've been out of town for what little did fall) - that even though today's offering was a few hours of thin drizzle followed by maybe twenty five minutes of more solid rain - followed by drizzle again for half an hour - it was extraordinarily welcome.  

For the first time, though, I was looking at the weather forecast thinking - oh good, rain!  But - oh bad!  It'll knock leaves from the trees.  They are very pretty, of course.  But we've let our "gardeners" go - our hapless leaf blowers: in part because they have been hapless, to be sure, but also because our gate key met with "an accident" and was squashed beyond recognition and they couldn't get in any more; and also because I have a strong ecological bias against leafblowers - noise pollution; horrible expenditure of carbon fuels; destruction of habitat of little lizards ... So I've been out there with a rake, and with bare hands (there's something quite soothing about picking up leaves, in small quantities).  Post-rain, though, I'd be hard pushed, alas, to call the quantities "small..."

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

LA still looking like LA

... at least superficially.  This was taken from the car when stopped at lights on Santa Monica, heading, in the early morning, for a dentist's appointment.  This wasn't my first appointment during Covid - I couldn't do that to my mouth - but it was far, far and away the least stressful.  And there wasn't much traffic.  This is a strangely deceptive picture: all that greenery is not some public space stretching away, but plastic fencing round a construction site.  There seems to be a whole lot of construction going on - but also, and very obviously, a large number of shuttered businesses.  LA isn't looking that much like LA, yet, and one wonders what it will indeed be like when - we all hope - it comes back to more life in a few months time ...


Monday, March 1, 2021

spanish style

Just up the road from us, but somehow I'd never noticed this weather vane before.  It seems to be taking "Spanish style" to an extreme to have a metal bullfighter - complete with gored bull - on top of one's house, but there again, we have a stained glass roundel of a conquistador at the top of our stairs ... I think that in the late 20s, the Spanishness of this little corner of Los Feliz was subject to pragmatic exaggeration.


Sunday, February 28, 2021

first jasmine flower

I planted a jasmine bush in a big plant pot last summer, moved it in the fall so that it would climb up into some front garden bushes, and it seems (touch wood) to be doing wonderfully well.  In general, our front yard drainage is so unreliable that it's safest to put things in pots: we have too much dying and wilting of rosemary bushes at the moment, and various other corners are, I'm coming to realize, not only shallow, but are like little hidden reservoirs - which when one largely plants drought-tolerant things is fatal.  Best of all, here, is the jasmine's smell.  Indeed, opening the window at night - it can't be this plant causing it, yet - the air is thick not just with jasmine scent, but with citrus blossom.  Much though I miss being in New Mexico, springtime in LA is wonderful.


Saturday, February 27, 2021

agave attenuata

... from this morning's walk, down the street and on Griffith Park Boulevard.  This is probably as tall as this will grow: any moment now two things will happen.  It'll curve over, and the flowers will start to come out more, making the plant look fluffy (it's also known as foxtail agave, because it starts to look like a fox brush).  And at that point a third thing happens - the bees arrive.  It's a very striking plant - ridiculously, cartoonishly phallic.  Of course, it's not native to here, but is a Mexican import - tempting to get one of our own, though.   (Nurseries!  Buying plants!  That's on the list for ten days time - we're counting down the post vaccine days ... on the other hand, being at a Zoom get together earlier today and learning of friends who, say, have to teach in a university classroom - in Georgia - with no vaccine in sight brings home, once again, the acutely horrible disparities between states).


Friday, February 26, 2021

breakfast, please?

Really, you don't want to argue with Moth.  But wet food has been consumed.  Kibble has been consumed.  Tiny, tiny, tiny matitudinal treat of butter has been consumed.  What else does she expect?  Maybe I could have some oats and granola and have a little bit of milk with them, and she could lick out the bowl?  


Thursday, February 25, 2021

the optimism of orchid buds

One of the orchids that found its way here for Alice's birthday last week lost a little stem of buds on its journey - so we rescued in, and put it hopefully - and with an imaginative support, thanks to Alice, I realized today - in a tumbler of water.  So far so good - it looks like it could make it ...