Sunday, April 8, 2012

wedding tree ~ 04/08/12 ~ Garland Ranch

How often will our wedding anniversary land on Easter? While extending our regrets for leaving the Highlands shin-dig early, a sentimental fellow best known as "Boo" suggested we take Easter egg offerings for our wedding tree. That's exactly what we did! Once the kids' egg and adults' beer hunts were finished, we found cracked eggs we liked and wrapped them up for our hike up to the mesa. It was great fun selecting our own hiding spots on our tree. Notice the ant on mine? Many ants came to check it out. Andy hid his high in a nook. The vernal greenery on this deciduous oak was notably varied this year with clusters of tight buds to soft unfurled leaves. Click to see this tree on April 8 in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.

ps 04/12/12 - I looked for fairy fingers and could not find them.

Easter 2012 in the Highlands

(not) our eggs

brightest flowers (fuchsias) that caught my eye

Bird Island of Point Lobos

hidden egg

my favorite spring garden view

Here's my annual Easter post. I use the same five picture themes every year. To see past years, click my * easter label and scroll down.

This year's celebration felt very different for several reasons. The Williams family are making the tough and beautiful transition without Cynthia. Two of her daughters, Molly and Honey live on the compound, and they are shaping "The Carmel Institute" to better suit their own preferences. I absolutely love their garden. Also, Andy and I have our own evolving life priorities. At the shin-dig, there were plenty of familiar faces and several new folks who brought plastic eggs and decorated beer cans. I don't remember the last time I saw plastic eggs as part of the hunt. As for Andy and me, well, we didn't dye any eggs this year (nor did we make paper snowflakes... hmm?) Time and attention have certainly slipped by us. Plus, it was our wedding anniversary, and that post will be forthcoming.

If Molly, Honey, and all their friends who helped out read this, here's a heartfelt thank you!

common flax ~ 04/08/12 ~ Carmel Highlands

common flax / linseed
Linum usitatissimum
for more information click here, here, and here

I really wanted this to be the native Lewis' Flax / western blue flax (Linum lewisii); however after looking at numerous pictures, the flower face and the leaves just didn't seem right to me. The newly designed Jepson eFlora descriptions for L. usitatissimum and L. lewisii are as confusing as usual for a novice like me, but compared to the 1993 version, the maps are very impressive with updates thanks to Joshua R. McDill. So, this widely naturalized common flax from eastern Mediterranean to India is my best guess. The flowers were sparsely spread around the paths in the orchard. Each stem was about knee to thigh high; I'm short, so maybe about 25 inches or so. It's a pretty delicate flower.

I must confess to how I happened to discover what kind of flower this is. As I was looking in the neighbor's trash bin for plastic containers (yogurt, hummus, salsa...) for my spring repotting, I found one of those lavender eye pillows. Since I wanted to used the nice silk fabric for another project, I emptied out the contents. There were funny looking flat brown seeds mixed in with the dried lavender blooms. Of course, I looked it up online and discovered flax's many uses. I now scoop a little bit of the mix into an old tied stocking and toss it into the occasional bath water. My homemade bath bag smells nice and seriously softens my skin. Eh, what a motley set of discoveries from simply going through trash.