[Today a Month Ago] The Familiar and the Unfamiliar
There’s not much to say about this day – it was Monday, Cyan had to go to work, and I had to head out on my own. As much as I often worry about doing unfamiliar things, being in unfamiliar places, riding trains and buses is something that’s very familiar, and I decided to start this week of doing things by myself by doing something else that’s very familiar: going to a botanical garden.
I remember it took me a bit to get my bearings in Golden Gate Park, but I made it to the botanical garden, and then… well. Plants. Pictures. Too many pictures of plants. And so, so many plants I had never seen before. I’ll only post a tiny fraction of my pictures now, but I’m sure I’ll post more about it later on.
Baby’s tears (Soleirolia soleirolii) growing in the cracks of a wall… here, it’s only to be found as a houseplant (one that I haven’t tried, because it seems like it wouldn’t deal very well with my irregular watering.)
Staghorn fern, another plant I’ve never seen growing outdoors (and I rarely ever see them in this size).
Okay, I admit, they are kind of cute… but European squirrels are still cuter.
An unfamiliar palm tree and very familiar ivy… that picture feels very symbolic of the whole Bay Area for me, that odd combination of the familiar and the totally unfamiliar.
In the beginning, I still went down every tiny little path – and it’s a big botanical garden! – but I evenually had to stop doing that, because I was running out of time (and also growing tired, and I’d run out of food).
At one point, an older man asked me to take a picture of him with his huge camera… which, between me understanding neither his camera nor his accented English very well, was a little frustrating for both of us. He reminded me a lot of my father, with his bad English and his hair and beard. My father may have been a professional photographer, but I can’t remember him taking pictures outside of work since I was very small, so it can’t have been that. We talked a bit, about where we were from – he was from Vietnam, and when I said I was from Austria, I got the, “Oh, yes, I have friends in Sydney.” I should probably not find it this funny when people confuse Austria for Australia… but I find it very entertaining.
Sometimes I just had to stop and go, “no, no, no, plants with daisy-like flowers can’t be trees! That’s just crazy!” All members of the daisy family I’d seen before – known of before – were herbaceous plants.
Speaking of daisies… daisies and dandelions, like you’d find them in pretty much every lawn here, side by side with baby’s tears, which is, as I said, only to be found as a houseplant. Yes, I even got excited about weeds.
Sparmannia africana. It’s always a little frustrating when you’re glad to have found a plant at an affordable price and then you just see it casually growing in the park, about fifteen times as high as your own…
And how odd to see these familiar guys in Golden Gate Park…