Archive for the ‘flora’ Category

April Fools! Those “Cherry” Trees You Saw Blooming in January are Actually Plums – Yes, Even in Japantown – Proof

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Here’s your proof, here’s how things are looking in Buchanan Plaza in April 2014:

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That would be a couple plums on the left and genuine cherry on the right.

Why did people plant plum trees in J-Town? IDK, perhaps to make it look like we had cherry trees blooming in mid-winter?

Anyway, proof promised, proof delivered.

The 2007 “Stanyan Street Commons,” a Community Garden near USF, is Now Lost to History

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Back in the late aughts Victory Gardens were all over the place, remember? Let’s look back to that time in aught-seven when “guerrilla gardeners” took over the land in front of some lady’s apartment complex at Fulton and Stanyan and just started gardening.

It was beautiful vandalism, man. The venture had lots of support from the City and NGOs, that’s for sure. But things didn’t work out.

Here’s how it looked back in 2007…

Via IndyBay, image reversed for your pleasure

…and here’s how it looked in the summer of 2010, during what should have been the start of harvest, harvest time. Weepin’ time, reapin’ time, harvest, harvest time:

And now the transformation is complete. Here’s the scene in 2014 – the former garden is now a fully-paved parking lot:

And now you know the rest of the story…

Cherry Blossoms Blooming in January is NOT Due to Global Warming – Why? The Answer Will Amaze You – One Weird Trick

Monday, January 27th, 2014

(I’ll just say that if you ever earnestly Tweet a link to Chuckworthy, I’ll Unfollow you in a New York minute. That’s how I roll.)

What’s that, when you were a tyke, cherry trees bloomed in April and now they’re blooming in late January because of that darn global warming?

Well yeah, but what you’re looking at aint cherry trees, they’re plum trees, muchacho/a.

See? Plum:

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What’s that, you just saw them in J-Town, so they must be cherry trees? NOPE! What you saw was Prunus cerasifera, a kind of plum. Yes, they planted plums on Post Street on purpose, to stagger the blooms from winter to spring, one supposes. Go back to Japantown in April and you’ll see blossoms from the real deal, Prunus serrulata aka Japanese Cherry, Hill Cherry, Oriental Cherry, East Asian Cherry, or soon enough, East Sea Cherry for all I know.

What’s that, Prunus cerasifera’s common name is cherry plum so close enough? NOPE! Cherry is cherry and plum is plum.

What’s that, global warming is real and trees are blossoming earlier and earlier? MAYBE SO! But just don’t call plum trees cherry trees, that’s what I’m saying. That’s the “one weird trick.”

Gotcha!

All right, here you go, here’s a genuine cherry tree during late January in the 415:

Cherries will be blooming soon enough.

Until then, enjoy eating plum blossoms, as this Wild Parrot of Telegraph Hill did near the Financial one winter long ago:

Haight Street Whole Foods Offers Tiny “Charlie Brown-Ass” Christmas Trees for Sale – “Elf Trees” They’re Called

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

I believe the quote proffered by a passerby / loiterer was “sorry Charlie Brown-ass Christmas trees.”

At first I thought they were $30, but now I see that they’re just $20, which is fair enough, I suppose.*

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They sell bigger Christmas trees as well.

Hey, will WF’s tree sale cut down on sales at longstanding tree lots?

Oh yes.

Anyway, Merry Christmas!

*Maybe I’ll buy one, we’ll see.

A Personal-Sized Plant, Visible Through a Window from the Sidewalk of Masonic

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

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Free Potting Soil from Golden Gate Park, If You’re Brash Enough to Just Come and Steal It

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

You can sort of make out the culprits on the other side of this mound:

Or maybe this sort of thing is cool, IDK.

Anyway, the soil looked extra loamy, so that must have been a bonus for the thieves.

Huge Multi-Ton Blue Gum Eucalyptus Tree Branch Falls in the Panhandle – “Environmental Weed” – Tasmanian Devil

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

This aint no bush, it’s part of a huge tree branch what just came crashing down in the Golden Gate Park Panhandle this AM.

See? It fell near Fell Street.

These Eucs are environmental weeds* don’t you know.

They Should All Be Destroyed

Of course she’s trying to kill us – clever girl:

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*It was introduced to California in the mid-19th century, partly in response to the Southern Pacific Railroad’s need for timber to make railroad ties, and is prominent in many parks in San Francisco and throughout the state. Naturalists, ecologists, and the United States National Park Service consider it an invasive species due to its ability to quickly spread and displace native plant communities, while local authorities, especially many fire departments across California consider them to be a major fire hazard,[24][25][26] although the United States Department of Agriculture does not list it among its Invasive and Noxious plants list in California.[27] Due to such reasons, programs across the state of California have been taken to remove all eucalyptus growth and restore native biomes in some park areas, such as on Angel Islandin San Francisco Bay, and in the Hills of Oakland California, where Eucalyptus Trees helped fuel the 1991 Oakland Hills Firestorm.[24]

A Riot of Color in Foggy, Foggy Golden Gate Park: It’s August in the Dahlia Dell! – Big Flower Show Coming Aug. 17-18, 2013

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

As it looks this season:

All the deets:

August 17th & 18th, 2013, Dahlia Society of California, County Fair Building/Golden Gate Park, 9th & Lincoln Avenues, San Francisco

But whatever you do, don’t ask about the Walk of Shame at the next meeting! It’s just too shameful:

“Program: Deborah will present her interactive Walk of Shame where you learn which are major show sins and which are minor ones.”

Now check out the flowery language used to make the dahlia San Francisco’s official flower:

“The dahlia partakes essentially of the character of our beloved city, in birth, breeding, and habit, for it was originally Mexican, carried thence to Spain, to France and England in turn, being changed in the process from a simple daisylike wild flower to a cosmopolitan beauty.”

As seen just east of our Conservatory of Flowers:

Golden Gate Park has tons of dahlia now – check out the Yelp-approved Dahlia Dell when you have the chance.

An annual eardrum buzz in GGP:

Colour hidden in the park.

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See you there!

Well, As Expected, the $7 Fee at the Strybing Arboretum is Going to Become Permanent – A Little History

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Boy there’s a lot of overhead involved with the whole process of charging people $7 to walk through the former Strybing Arboretum, it sure looks like.

Anyway, here’s a little background on how we’ve gotten to this point:

LMA-BOS-Supporter Talking Points-6-4.21.13 Budget Hearing

Arboretum Contract Critique

And here’s a post from 2010:

“Not sure how many people were at last night’s ”workshop” to discuss the idea of charging admission at San Francisco Botanical Garden (aka Strybing Arboretum) in Golden Gate Park ’cause I left before it ended. But the hand-count totaled 225 souls, so let’s call that a gentleman’s 250 altogether for the crowd.

Here’s the thing - people on both sides all seem to know each other and care deeply about The Garden. This conflict seems a kind of civil war (hence the Antietam name check, yes it rhymes exactly), a family squabble. It’s plant-loving Brother against plant-loving-but-other-stuff-too Brother. Get up to speed on this dispute here.

Now, once more into the breach, dear friends.

The mise-en-scene last night. It’s Recreation and Park Commission President Jim Lazarus taking individual questions from a hostile crowd, split up unnecessarily, it turned out, into three sections. This is what the bulk of the meeting looked like. Click to expand:

But let’s start at the beginning. Below, it’s the organized neighbors! They taped up hundreds of small signs to draw attention to the meeting. Did workers from DPW spend a lot of time taking down the unofficial notices? Apparently. Were any official notices put up, like last time? Not that I could see.

Inside, the fellow on the left, (didn’t get his name, someone called him The Kid) tried to get things started, but vocal members of the crowd didn’t like the agenda that was handed out, particularly they didn’t like being split up into three groups.

The guy with the ponytail went off, and the Eli in the Yale jacket on the right pleaded for calm. Thank Gaia for Yalies:

After a couple go-arounds like that, The Kid threatened to cancel the meeting. (Arboretum staff appears to view hosting public meetings like these as doing a favor to Arboretum visitors, and truth be told, if San Francisco officials are dead-set on allowing the charging of admission, they can do it regardless of what regular Arboretum visitors want.) Here’s a ten-minute video of the action.

But after a brief huddle, redolent of a friendly car salesperson taking your low-ball offer to the Big Guy…

…out comes lawyer Jim Lazarus calling an audible to change the meeting’s format. He seemed every bit the experienced pol he is.

The new agenda that got worked out with leadership elements from the masses: an uninterupted 10-15 minute “general presentation” of the plan. “Then you can decide how much you want to beat us up after that,” said Jimbo. “You can shoot us all when it’s over.”

This Lazarus Effect resuscitated the meeting. So, let’s hear The Proposal.

The Arboretum would set up pre-fab ticket kiosks at the Main Gate and the Friend Gate (near the Japanese Tea Garden) for $65K and then hire four part-time cashiers, a manager(?), and also a part-time accountant for $148K per year. San Francisco residents would enter for free after showing some sort of ID. Those useless freeloading parasites known as Everybody Else in the World would pay $7, or $4 (students and seniors), or $2 (kids) each time they go in. They’d have the option of getting a $75 annual pass that would also allow entry at the Japanese Tea Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers – something like that.

The projected 100,000 in paid admissions would have a “blended average” of $5.50 per, resulting in a gross take of $550K. Take away $150K for expenses and you end up with an annual net of $400K, of which $100-150K would go into the Rec and Park kitty and the rest could go into whatever, like hiring more gardeners at $68K salary (plus 25% more in benefits).

The goal would be to eventually get up to a full complement of 16 gardeners, which will “never happen” without some new source of Arboretum-specific cashola.

That’s it.

“KEEP THE ARBORETUM FREE”

What about residents of neighboring counties in the Bay Area you say? It doesn’t matter, all auslanders gotta pay.

What about the rumoured $1.3 million cost of building the kiosks and other related expenses? That was just a “Cadillac proposal” dreamed up by somebody or other – the bare bones approach discussed last night would not be as nice, but it would get the job done.

This charismatic-messianic type got lots of applause for questioning the whole idea of charging anybody anything, regardless of the numbers:

Mr. Lazarus acknowledged the fear San Francisco residents have of being the next in line to be charged, the fear that admission prices would then increase after that. No promises on that front. Que sera sera.

But I’ll let the Keep the Arboretum Free people delve into these issues more. When I left, Lazarus was answering questions one by one, Phil Donahue-style.

“FREE means NO FEES, NO I.D.s”

Oh yes, the “next terrible meeting” promised by Jimbo will concern paid parking in Golden Gate Park. (Do people really plant their vehicle in the park for free and then run all over town all day? People do.)

Random observations:

The estimate of $148k annually to pay salaries for  the paid admission scheme sounds low. Way low, particularly in light of what cashiers at the Japanese Tea Garden get paid.

Park and Rec knows how to notice a public meeting but, for whatever reason, it appears to have done a bush-league job of noticing last night’s workshop.

Next up next month in June: the action will move over to City Hall and the Board of Supervisors. When will our civil war end?

Public Workshop – Botanical Garden

When: May 28, 2009 – Thursday 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: County Fair Building, 9th Avenue and Lincoln Avenue, San Francisco
What: In response to the feedback received on the proposed admission program at Botanical Garden, the Rec & Park Department decided there will not be a fee for residents. The revised proposal does include a $7. fee for nonresident visitors. Public workshop is to take feedback regarding revised proposed admission fee and will be seeking topics including:
Implementation of the new fee for non-San Francisco residents.
Amenities at the Garden.
Potential new revenue sources.

To Be Continued…

Your Moment of Zen: The Stunningly Blue Bamboo of Golden Gate Park

Friday, October 12th, 2012

You can get bamboo in blue these days.

See?

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Blue Himalayan Bamboo, Himilayacalamu S Hookerianus in Golden Gate Park*

What will they think of next?

*They charge admission to get into the area where this bamboo is. They didn’t used to. Remember to VOTE NO on Prop B come November 2012!