Lily of the Nile plants, Agapanthus, are very common in the San Francisco Bay area. Originally from South Africa (one of five Mediterranean climates in the world, like coastal California) they do well here. They take to rainy winters with moderate temperatures (no freezing) and dry summers with no rain, the weather of coastal California. The plants are large, with a waterfall of green leaves year round and beautiful large clumps of flowers in the spring and summer. Lily of the Nile flowers comes in shades of white and a beautiful blue purple color. I love the blue purple ones.
The plants have been popular in California for decades, used extensively in landscaping public spaces and private gardens. In the late spring and summer, they form rivers and pools of blue. The masses of blooms remind me of water.
I took these photos in July 2009, before my move. The road is Oregon Expressway in Palo Alto, at dusk. I have trouble photographing the flowers well, given my casual photography skills, but this may give you an idea of how magical they are. The Lily of the Nile blooming season is a part of My California.
Lily of the Nile, Oregon Expressway, July 2009
Lily of the Nile at Dusk, July 2009
Lily of the Nile and the road, July 2009
Eastern Pennsylvania is pretty, particularly in summer, lots of trees, hills, green. But – the landscape as a whole does not resonate with me. I have to find something in the landscape that does resonate with me.
I found something. I love the little creek in my hometown. I love the play of the light, how it sparkles in the sun. I love the musical sounds, the water. The part of the creek I like is narrow and not deep. Oddly enough, it makes me think of Thumbelina, from the Hans Christian Anderson story, a person the size of a thumb. For her the creek would be a river. I looked at the creek and I thought the “rapids” might be too much for her, but perhaps not if she was in a little leaf boat!
The Creek, August 2009
I also like the local swimming pool, the best community pool I’ve ever been to, ever. Swimming (when it’s not raining) in the summer weather of heat and humidity – great fun! Don’t let the clown trash container fool you. Look at that lap lane – this is a wonderful pool!
Hometown Pool, August 2009