Showing posts from November, 2010

Final visit to Bamboo Sourcery

This morning I drove to Bamboo Sourcery in Sebastopol, CA to pick up six bamboos I had ordered. I couldn’t help but feel sad knowing that in all likelihood this would be my last visit. In September, Bamboo Sourcery announced that they would cease operations in November (they recently extended this deadline by a couple of weeks). I don’t know what the reasons are, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the economy. They must have been affected by the dramatic downturn of the housing market in California and the attendant decrease in landscaping business. What makes the closure of Bamboo Sourcery even more poignant is the fact that this isn’t just a backyard business with limited stock. Bamboo Sourcery was a major player in the industry, offering as many as 300 varieties , including many obscure ones that few other nurseries carried. Their 8-acre facility in the hills on the western edge of Sebastopol, about 20 minutes from the coast, comprises the nursery and sales operations, several

Mistletoe-infested pear tree getting a trim

Last week I wrote about our Bradford pear ( Pyrus calleryana 'Bradford') suffering from mistletoe infestation . At that time we were expecting the City to cut down the tree altogether because that’s what they did last year with our other Bradford pear. The remaining one seemed to have much more mistletoe, at least in our eyes, so I considered it a logical candidate for removal. However, this morning a City tree trimming crew showed up—much to our surprise since we hadn’t been notified. They proceeded to remove all the branches that had mistletoe growing on them. This certainly solves the problem in the short term, but since Bradford pear trees are susceptible to mistletoe infestation, I won’t be surprised to see this problem rear its ugly head again in a few years. I’ll definitely keep a close eye on this tree! Bradford pear last week…   …and  today, after all the mistletoe has been removed  

Fruit and vegetable still lifes

What do you do when it’s cold outside and you don’t feel like braving the elements? Well, I like to photograph fruit and vegetables that are on hand. We eat them every day, but how often do we really stop and admire their beauty? Patty pan and acorn squash   Patty pan squash and garlic   Patty pan squash, butternut squash and garlic   Butternut squash and garlic   Garlic   Hachiya persimmon and garlic   One hachiya and two fuyu persimmons   Two fuyu persimmons   One fuyu persimmon  

Winter in the mountains

We’re still at my in-laws in Mount Shasta , about an hour south of the Oregon border. This small town of 4,500 is nestled against the base of Mount Shasta, at 14,179 ft. the fifth highest peak in California and considered a dormant volcano although it may erupt again in the next several hundred years. Contrary to where we live just west of Sacramento, they do have snow here, as evidenced by the pictures below. Enjoy my photographic impressions of early winter in the Northern California mountains. Black Butte, a 6334 ft. cinder cone. When Mt. Shasta is hidden by clouds, travelers driving by on I-5 often mistake Black Butte for the much larger volcano.   Mount Shasta rises abruptly from the surrounding terrain and seems even more imposing since there are no other mountains nearby. In New Age circles, Mount Shasta is considered a major power vortex .   To me icicles are the most beautiful harbingers of winter   Ice crystals forming on the hood of a car—beauty can

Bamboos in the snow

This summer we planted several bamboos at my in-laws’ place in Mount Shasta in the mountains of Northern California (zone 7b): golden vivax ( Phyllostachys vivax ‘Aureocaulis’), stone bamboo ( Phyllostachys angusta ), yellow groove bamboo ( Phyllostachys aureosulcata ), Fargesia dracocephala ‘Rufa’, Fargesia denudata and Chusquea gigantea . We also put a container-grown black bamboo ( Phyllostachys nigra ) in the ground . We’re back in Mount Shasta for Thanksgiving and I just took some pictures of the bamboos. Quite a difference, to say the least. Some of them I couldn’t even find! 11/27/10 update: It snowed all night and most of the morning. Everything looks magical when covered with new snow, especially bamboos, so I’m adding new photos from this morning. Stone bamboo ( Phyllostachys angusta ) in July 2010 right after we planted it…   …and now in the snow   Golden vivax ( Phyllostachys vivax ‘Aureocaulis’) in July 2010…   …and now in the snow