I took Bodie out to (dog-friendly) Charmlee Wilderness Park yesterday for a three-mile hike. It had probably been about nine years since we were last there. She was pretty excited to visit someplace new, and smell all the critters. The wildflowers are popping, and the area seems to be recovering well from the 2018 Woolsey Fire.

blood orange

Blood oranges were first discovered and cultivated in Sicily in the fifteenth century. They are a natural mutation of Citrus x sinensis, although today the majority of them are hybrids. High concentrations of anthocyanin give the rind, flesh, and juice of the fruit their characteristic dark red color. [Source: Wikipedia]

We need to get this one into the ground. I’m amazed it’s bearing fruit in this quite small pot. We just haven’t quite agreed on where it should be planted.

ficus benjamina

We have these two ficus trees growing in pots under the arbor. They’re old — I’ve lived here ten years and they were probably here for at least ten years before that. Apparently they prefer sunny conditions but they’re doing fine in full shade. Tough old buggers.

nicholas flat

While painting this, I could hear a group of young kids delightedly catching lizards. I was torn between ‘free range parent’ and ‘state park docent’ as I wondered if I should fondly recall the joys of childhood or admonish them not to hurt or take the animals. I said nothing, but I had all the feels.

norfolk pine

Five years ago, we planted a Norfolk pine on the downslope below the lemonade berry, with the goal that it would block the view of the neighbour’s flagpole from our living room. It’s now about 3.5 metres tall and doing its job with pride and gusto. These trees will always remind me of Kiama, where I happily spent my childhood summers.