20 May 12
I left Massachusetts for California in 1996, in mid-June after the end of spring migration. It was the best migration for years. For some strange reason I’ve left it sixteen years to return there in May. I don’t know why. What I do know is I’m not going to leave it another sixteen!
I spent most of the time with my mother who will be 80 this year. We birded. We sketched. We explored the Maine coast north of where she now lives. It was a fantastic visit, punctuated by warbler song and azaleas, warm rain, tearful belly laughs over a lamentable restaurant experience. Movies and popcorn.
Back home: no parulas singing here but I returned to this beautiful Carpenteria californica in bloom. This plant is incredibly rare in the wild: only seven known sites in Fresno and Madera counties. It has a light, orange fragrance. It’s in the arboretum’s moon garden and I’m glad I planted two. As we prepare to go out and watch the annular eclipse this evening, it can do the light and shade thing for us…