We checked out of our hotel in Haikou after an early breakfast of fried bread, kaffei hui nai he tang and hurry up hugs good-bye. I board a bus with new friends and depart for the Volcano Park. We climb steps cut from polished blocks of lava through tropical paradise dotted with large penjing and grotesque rocks, croton, bougainvillea, mango manguo, cactus xian ren qiu, aloe, coconut yezi, papaya and red hibiscus. We circulate the small, extinct crater dripping with exotic foliage and fluttering butterflies.Read More
Frost over the weekend drops all the leaves. Like golden doubloons, spinning in cerulean blue space, breaking with a soft snap, showering and whispering. Driving behind Lake Siskiyou, up into the mountains,Read More
We stayed two nights at my Aunt Vera and Uncle Jay's house in the East Bay. He has run his business for 65 years, Jay's Auto Center. You can see pictures of my family, also their sons JP and Brian.
One day we drove to the peninsula and met a Beijing friend at the Historic Monument Fioli Gardens. Yun recently transferred to Sunnyvale from Beijing for Google. It is pleasant strolling around the grounds of the mansion and gardens built by a rich gold mine and water company developer in 1915-1917.
Check out a very good and short article about this amazing place and the people who built it and owned it on the crossroads of early California history. Fioli is formed by combining the first two letters from the key words of William Bourn's credo: "Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filoli. We had lunch in the garden's cafe, run by volunteers.
This weekend I visit my son and his young family in Eugene by Amtrack. And the following weekend is local festival Dogwood Daze for the many dogwood trees blooming here. I plan to have a big garage sale, part of a citywide garage sale as part of the festival. There will no doubt be more pictures.....:)
See you later
We set out peanuts huang gua for the blue jays who entertain us while we eat lunch al fresco (outside) in the courtyard. The big shade tree is budding, about to burst with leaves, sitting in the warm spring sun through bare branches.
Last year at this time I wrote, "Spring is hurrying by-- don't miss it. Savor every breath as if it is the last spring on earth."
On May 6 I finished hooking up the drip emitters to the last potted plants and fertilized everything except the newly transplanted bonsai/penjing trees. Bruce helped install poles and netting for the edible pod peas, already a foot high, waving their tendrils around, looking for something to grab.
Walking in the neighborhood, bright orange caught our eye. "This is a partly parasitic plant called Indian Warrior, Pedicularis densiflora. Also called red lousewort. Not related to delphinium--related to Indian paintbrush. Usually grows under or near manzanita, which is its favored host plant." Many thanks to the USDA on this plant ID.
At the city park, the native dogwood trees cornus nuttallii are blooming. The Sacramento River runs through the park and many fisherman come here to fish.
So many plants bloom here the same as in Beijing. Lilac, forsythia, roses. The school flower at Tsinghua University is the redbudcercis sinensis. The redbud grows here in the Sacramento River canyon and south, cercis occidentalis.
It has been a looooong time since I have written to you, my friends. And I have so many pictures to share I will do May's blog in two parts.
See you later