A micro-idyll on the North Side

The north side of the park the other day offered a pocket sized paradise for the romantically inclined.  One of the benches that faced approximately toward Mt. Tam had a stand of Rock Roses just coming into bloom.  I wrote about these guys last year.  If they repeat (and I’m getting very cautious about that in view of what’s not happening with the blackbirds), they’ll put up a beautiful display for many weeks, coming up with new flowers almost every day.

On each side of the bench, a shrub of ceanothus was in bloom.  The one on the left was more vigorous and leaned toward the purple.  Its companion on the right was of a different persuasion, emulating the blue of the sky on sunny days.  The genus, though not necessarily these particular species, is native to California and was used for tea and medication by indigenous people.  It is said that in the wild, its seeds can survive for hundreds of years, and may germinate only in response to range or forest fires.

So, if you haven’t visited the north side of the park yet, go on up there and have a sit on the bench in this little idyll. Think about what it might mean if your seed could survive for hundreds of years and spring to life after a fire.  Better hurry, because the ceanothus probably won’t stay in bloom for very long.

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