You can’t unscramble an egg. American proverb

“The mission of Lan Su Chinese Garden is to cultivate an oasis of tranquil beauty and harmony to inspire, engage and educate our global community in the appreciation of a richly authentic Chinese culture.”

That is what the website states.  It was ten minutes before the heavily carved wooden door was swung open as I joined the migration of the other,  all female, bermuda length short wearing expectant visitors, cameras in hand to the garden.  In a decade the Satyricon Nightclub ( legend has it that Kurt met Courtney there) was replaced by  mornings and greenery.  I learned this trip that the club only closed last Fall, the building slated for demolition.  Old Town used to be desolate and this particular morning felt earlier because it was only a mix of tourists and homeless individuals stirring.  This was an oasis of green, full city block, skyscrapers filtering over the top of trees, spurts of street noise patched in.

Portland's Chinese Garden

hints of the city to the left

life beyond the wall

Portland's Chinese Garden

tea for one

Watch for falling fruit…

Detail of the Cannonball tree bloom

This is one wild looking tree!  The Cannonball tree or Couroupita guianensis is native to South America.  The flowers spring from stems that cover the trunk.

Cannonball tree bloom

The blooms contain no nectar so mainly attract bees, in particular Carpenter for the pollen.  The fruit aka the “cannonball”  often splits when it hits the ground emitting an unpleasant stench but one that does not deter it being eaten by animals.

Cannonball tree

Cannonball tree fruit


Beehive Ginger

Beehive Ginger

I’m taking the edge off of being being outdoors enveloped in a thick wet fog thanks to the Carmel coastline by starting to edit a few of my Big Island (Hawaii) images. No complaints as I have a friend’s wedding to ease my return to reality late Thursday evening. Microfono is the Spanish name, most visually fitting for Beehive ginger or Zingiber spectabile.  In February it was too early to see any blooms.   Happily I can’t say the same for June.

Hello Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden…

Ginger shot at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, Big Island

The vacation felt more like a waking dream until I printed out the boarding pass for my early morning flight to Kona.  It’s going to be an adventure, one that does not include for the first time in thirteen years the company of Henry, my son.  I missed him as soon as he took off for his father’s house this afternoon but I know I’m going to be just fine, better than fine.  I’m planning on catching up on some photography that does not happen when all day is designated for boogie boarding.

One of my favorite spots, well mine and a large number of senior citizens judging from my last visit is the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.  This seventeen acre property was a private garden for a number of years but now everyone can enjoy its beauty.

Catch up with you in a week.

Risen from the dead…

Sometime around June 5th, not zombies but the ginormous and smelly Amorphophallus titanum or Corpse Flower will bloom at the Huntington Botanical Gardens.  When this plant, indigenous to Sumatra bloomed last year it attracted huge crowds despite and because of the odor of rotting flesh.  This year the bloom is smaller than last, yet it’s still close to three feet tall.  Seems plenty big to me, no need to be a size queen.  The Corpse Flower emits its distinct odor in order to attract carrion (fancy word for decomposing flesh) eating insects which in turn pollinate the bloom.  Birds later eat the seeds which are then spread, so on and so forth.  It would be amazing to see this live and in person but school’s not out until June 11th.