hammer man

I’ve always found Ed Benavente’s Big Red to be an odd choice for public art beside a children’s playground. Ominously towering over the swings and slides, the repressed violence in its stance seems out of place in swanky Malibu Country Mart. This month its legs are swathed in cornstalks … does this make it seem friendlier, or scarier?

platanus racemosa

I took myself down to a nearby (dry) creek and sat in the shade of a California sycamore for a while. This is my favourite local native tree, with its mottled leopard bark and floppy clown-glove leaves. I’d plant one at our place if we had the water, but alas our block is too dry for a sycamore to thrive here.

psidium cattleyanum

Our strawberry guava tree is busting out all over with fruit in varying stages of ripeness. We usually leave them for the birds to eat, though sometimes I’ll gather enough to extract a cup or two of juice. We preferred the lemon guava, but sadly that tree died after a few spectacular crops.

When looking up its Latin name, I learned that Psidium cattleyanum is (a) named for English horticulturist William Cattley (1788 – 1835) and (b) considered the most invasive plant in Hawaii. So many unintended consequences, when we move biota around the world.