Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011 in the Highlands

our eggs

brightest flowers (geraniums) that caught my eye

Bird Island of Point Lobos

hidden egg

my favorite spring garden view

Per my standard Easter entry, I have a specific set of pictures that I post here on Nature ID. To see all my Easter posts from 2011, 2010, and 2009, click here.

What was not standard this year was Cynthia Williams, the matriarch of "The Carmel Institute", died at the end of January after more than a year of failing health with the need of round-the-clock care. I added a postscript of her obituary and a link to Design Faith's blog entry about Cynthia in my 2010 post. A heartfelt and intimate memorial with lots of laughter was included at the end of the traditional Easter soiree.

The family's annual Easter celebration has been held for almost 70 years! Anyone who wanted to participate was invited and welcomed with open arms. It always included sequestering the children in the living room while the adults hid hard-boiled eggs in the expansive garden. Cynthia, dressed in her colorful Easter attire, blew her horn to start the hunt. After most of the eggs were found, the older children then hid decorated cans of beer for the adults, often vigorously shaking them as a prank on their dads. It wasn't unusual for the dogs or the gardeners to find old eggs or cans of beer up to a year later in the bushes. After the hunting for eggs and beer ended, a scrumptious potluck of massive proportions ensued with libations of punch, wine, and gin fizzes. Plastic swords, big wheels, tire swings, trampoline, acoustic music, and a poison oak lined path to the south Point Lobos beach were post-brunch activities for the young and old alike. I have every confidence that the family will continue this Easter ritual.

Another thing that was not standard this year was I was extremely sick from what I thought was a severe cold that even ruptured my only good eardrum. Normally, I would have stayed home to keep from spreading my germs, but I needed in my heart to attend and share in Cynthia's memorial. While I stayed away from most people and didn't socialize like I would have liked, partly because I couldn't hear too well, I am very glad I went. A few days later I ended up in the hospital with pneumonia and other complications. I'm still recuperating... but I can't help but believe this was Cynthia's way of instructing me that I need to take better care of myself.

Thank you, Cynthia, for your joie de vivre, generosity, and inspiration!

seaside painted cup ~ 04/24/11 ~ Carmel Highlands

Monterey paintbrush / seaside painted cup
Castilleja latifolia
CNPS 8th Edition Inventory
Orobanchaceae (formerly Scrophulariaceae)

Have you missed my posts? This is the first day that I've felt somewhat better in 3 weeks (posted 05/10/11). Hooray! This is a new species of paintbrush for Nature ID. Isn't it pretty? I can't believe I haven't posted a picture of it before now. It's a rare plant found only here in CA along the coast. Vern Yadon states in Wildflowers of Monterey County that the seaside painted cup is semi-parasitic on beach sagewort (Artemisia pycnocephala) and the colors can vary from orange, yellow, white, and red. Check out the embedded links in the ID below the pictures above.