Castle Beach

Bonfire tonight, down at Castle Beach. It was that lovely crisp and blanketed fog, like the sand was being put to bed by the sky. Fire, sand and sea were all muted and fuzzy-edged, though voices carried clearly across the driftwood strewn beach. I felt as I usually do as I approach a group of friends, very glad to be there, but slightly cocooned, and by-standerish. I think it's a shy thing, or an introverted thing, but often I find myself struggling to be present, and not just a voyeur of my own experience. ("Here I am, with all my friends. I am talking to them. Talk. Talk. And now they are talking back. Interesting.") Being a writer probably doesn't help. Or a reader, I can easily get lulled into treating everything around me as one giant story I'm reading; like the actor who is late for his cue because he's too busy enjoying the play going on around him.
Whale Museum
Right above this beach is what's known locally as the Whale Museum, actually the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History. I went on copious field trips there as a tot, mine was one of the many pudgy little girl fingers poked into the tired sea anemones in the simulated tide pools....
The really terrible thing though is that my 5th grade class got flashed by some guy as we waited out front for our bus. I think he was chased away by a teacher but I've blocked it out. Growing Up in Santa Cruz, indeed. (Sorry, mum! I don't think I ever told you this....)
But the cement whale out front is perfect for late night scaling and conversation. I heartily recommend it-as well as the tide pools in the museum. Tell the anemones I said hi.

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Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.