Mar 9, 2010

066- Finding Spring

One of the goals of this vacation was to find spring! Although I've never specifically made a trip to CA in the late winter with this purpose in mind I find that, without exception, I have made just such a trip each year since moving here. Somehow it just makes surviving 6-8 more weeks of cold, mountain winter weather bearable.

At Golden Gate park we found this group of men playing Reggae music; being *Little Joanie* I had to get up-close-and-personal! While the others hung back I went up and thanked them for their happy sound!

066- reggae group

I was very impressed with the acrobat/gymnast fellow. He sent through his routine with nary a bobble. I can only imagine the strength he must have. Impressive!

On to the Botanical Gardens... spring, lovely spring! A perfect day in San Francisco... sunny, warm (high 50's) and no wind! What a delight!

We'd only been in the gardens a few minutes when Cindy, my little bee chah-mah (actually a squir-rell chah-mah), made friends with the funny little squirrels (But, daddy, I WANT a squir-rell!) We noticed that some of them followed us around like a little bunch of dogs... do you suppose it was the smell of the tortilla chips!

066- squir-re-el chahmah

Right off we were greeted with beautiful magnolia trees.

066- magnolia tree

And just down the path... tulip trees. I found, upon further investigation today, that magnolia and tulip trees are from the same genus.

066- tulip tree

Cindy spotted this plum tree in bloom. I would have mistaken it for an apple tree... shows how much I know!

066- plum tree

My very botanical name for this tree is a Muppet Pine! I truly don't know what variety of pine tree this is, but it looked like it belonged with all the Muppet characters. The needles were 10-12 inches long and hung down like Animal's hair! It swished in the light breezes.

066- muppet pine

I just love trees... isn't this a perfect specimen of what a tree should look like? It is some sort of Japanese tree, but that is all I remember. How can a naked tree be so beautiful? I can only imagine how it will look in full bloom or leaf!

066- perfect tree

I saw these beautiful lavender-colored berries on a tree, but I don't know what they are either.

066- berries

After trekking around for a couple of hours we headed back to the entrance only to find that it had been closed and locked! Dun-dun-dun... We were directed by a vague sign to the *after-hours* exit. (What, do you suppose, would have been wrong with placing the after-hours exit by the entrance? Hmm, I'll have to think on this one!)

So we bravely toiled onward...

066- my fam

The good news is that if we hadn't made this detour I would have missed this magnificent Monterrey Cypress. Compare its size to the tiny humans in the lower right of the photo!

066- monterey cypress

And these ginormous hens and chicks must be on steroids. They were the size of dinner plates!

066- hens and chicks

We finally reached Miss Sarah's car tired, slightly foot sore, but very pleased with our outing!

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