2017.04.04 Don't Miss The Spring

It is happening right now!

Unlike Netflix series and Youtube videos and Facebook, nature is not going to wait for when it is convenient for you to take a look.

If you want to experience the glory of spring after a winter where it has actually rained, the Peninsula Open Space Trust has excellent suggestions for easy and more strenuous walks around in our beautiful nature. And yes, there is an app for that.

The poppies have started to show up here and there but will not be in total bloom for a week or so, the lupines will follow. If, so far, you have just enjoyed the sight from your car along the freeway, you are depriving yourself of a treat.

All through my childhood, my parents would drag us out in the forest to experience the carpet of anemones, larkspur, violets... that can be found in Danish beech forests before the trees unfold their leaves. I would know most of the flowers. Throughout the spring, summer, and fall my father would go jogging every weekend and bring home a small bouquet of wildflowers for my mother. If it contained anything we didn't know, the Flora would come out and we would learn a new name. Katost, Gul Snerre, Almindelig Agermåne...

As much as I would like to, here we don't pick the flowers. Imagine if 10 mill people all wanted a bouquet every weekend; it would not be pretty for very long. It is called "nature preserve" for a reason.

I feel totally incompetent here in my new country. Yes, I know Poppy, Lupine, and Miners Lettuce - not to forget the Poison Oak!

But I don't know all the rest even though I have invested in an Audubon Field Guide to California (Very informative hand guide, by the way).

Fortunately, my best friend is a biology major. Unfortunately, she is from England where Indian Paintbrush, Hounds tongue, California Fuchsia, and all the rest don't grow. But at least she doesn't think I am odd when I feel diminished by not knowing my local flora by heart. She has upped her local knowledge by teaching science to school children through Environmental Volunteers (they will be happy take in and train more volunteers, hint, hint...). With her help I hope some day I will be able to fit names and flowers together.

Get out and experience the sight. It may be the only time in 10 years you will have the chance to see a bloom like this. If need be, take an antihistamine. After all, Palo Alto is known as the allergy capital of the world. Not for the wild flowers but because Sycamores, Redwoods, and Live Oak make a mess. The little yellow pellets and dust you see covering everything right now is Live Oak.

They don't grow in Denmark, neither. Guess I must have picked up at little after all...