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Cherry blossoms, sakura, announce the arrival of spring. This time of year I find myself stealing glances down the waterfront from my travels to and fro over the Fremont Bridge. Last week, jury duty took me downtown for a couple days. The service was uneventful and I was dismissed by lunch time both days, allowing a chance for a closer look.
This is the view north toward the Steel Bridge at the south end of the Japanese American Historical Plaza.
On the day of my visit, the blossoms were not completely open. Not too late, I felt relief and satisfaction at not having missed the seasonal show.
Visits to this place are a poignant experience for me, reminding me of my early life in Tokyo so far away in distance and in time, and also because of the monument to the tragic experience of Japanese American incarceration during World War II.
The engraved poetry is simple but full of feeling, made all the more powerful in combination with the brilliant color of windblown cherry blossom petals and flowing water of the adjacent Willamette River.
On my visits to this place, I am confounded by the emotions stirred by these words in a setting filled with carefree picnickers smiling for snapshots. Seems incongruous but making sense of experiences like this is part of life. Of course I have been a picnicker here too.
I highly recommend making a visit to these blossoming trees on the waterfront. This place provides us the opportunity to confront and reflect upon an important piece of our national history and also experience the beauty and healing power of nature.
Not long ago, I found myself reflecting on my tree planting selections in my yard over the last year. Two are Craigslist rescues and I’ve been having my doubts about them.
The loquat is not looking good, at all. I don’t know what is wrong with it, but it seems ignoring it has only made it worse.
It’s been flowering for months. A desperate reproductive strategy employed by a tree that knows its days are numbered?
I think it is time to admit defeat and say goodbye. I have a healthy loquat that has put on a ton of growth and I might move it to this spot — less than two years ago, I planted it from a small 4-inch container purchased at Cistus. I didn’t detect any growth the first year, but now it reaches the top of my 6-foot fence.
Then there’s the ginkgo, which I foolishly brought home sight unseen. Constrained for time, I sent my husband and one of my sons to dig it up and bring it home in my brother-in-law’s truck. It’s very healthy, but it has a double leader. My favorite form for a ginkgo is upright with a central leader. Anyone want a spreading ginkgo?
I thought I talked myself into giving up tree salvaging as a hobby.
But on Thursday last week, I was out jogging and saw this in a front yard.
I deliberated a whole 5 or 6 seconds before I knocked on the door to ask about any future plans for this tree. No answer. So later I drove by to drop off a polite inquiry in writing. No call. The next day, no call. Weekend, same. OK, good — I was actually relieved to be saved from my vice of second hand tree collecting.
But then Monday night I got a friendly VM from the owner giving me the go ahead to rehome this poor tree. Yippee!
And into the van it went.
I never thought about what to do with this thing after bringing it home. This palm has 6 feet of trunk, and measures 9 feet with the mass of leaves. Since it needs some elaborate burlap wrapping and staking, we decided it had to go into a pot until we could prepare a site and deal with the staking. Embarrassing, but here it is lashed to our basement stairs and deck railing which is the only place where it wouldn’t potentially fall, endangering a child, pet or plant.