Posted in Let's Get Visual

Summer Light

You may have noticed this morning that summer light has arrived here in Southern California.

You know summer light is on the way when you see the jacarandas blooming.

Jacarandas at Caltech. (Photo courtesy of Eye Level Pasadena.)

We had a lot of rain this past winter, but we (meaning the able-bodied two of us in my humble abode) have not cultivated our own green thumbs.

Our back yard has been busy cultivating itself.

The lemon tree, untouched by human hands. Our style of gardening gives “organically grown” new meaning.

The inclination of the back yard is to shield us from too much summer light, knowing it to be directly related to summer heat.

That’s very kind of you, Back Yard, but you’ve outdone yourself.

You’ve subsumed the clothesline by doubling a plum tree. The clothesline is metal, Yard, and you are not. Know that you must return the clothesline to me when the time is right for me to hack the plum tree into submission. I don’t know when that time is, but I’m going to google it and find out.

You’ve let this bush go from huge to massive:

I don’t know the name of this bush. I’ll find out, I promise. In the meantime, could you please make it go to sleep? Just look (below, left side) how big it is. That is big enough, thank you.

Oh Back Yard, the Ume (Japanese apricot tree) is lovely. You know I love the white blossoms every January.

But whatever am I to do with the fruit from this tree that has been carpeting the back yard for the last couple of weeks?

I’m not going to work myself up into a lather of guilt about the fact that I’ve actually thrown quite a few of these away. But please, they are still dropping at the rate of 2 per minute. You know by now that I’m not going to make Umeshu.


Years ago, a woman who owned a Japanese restaurant in Long Beach would stop by once a year and take the apricots—she made Umeshu. She may have retired; I don’t know. Here’s Ume for Beginners if you want to have a go. If you’re local, I’ll drop the fruit off to you.

I know I’m very fortunate to have a plot of earth to call my own. One of these days, it would be nice to rise to the occasion of actually taking care of it. I mean, a bit better than I do. Does one grow into this sort of thing? (pun – ouch) Will I wake up one day and long to be in the garden instead of reading a book?

In the meantime, there are those who regularly inspire me with their domestic aplomb. Each of them understands deeply the garden-to-table connection:

The Fabulous Kitty – Check out her blog post on how to make biscuits.

Pasadena Housewife

Tableau Vivante

A Thinking Stomach

and of course Miss “All Politics is Personal” Havisham, aka Purple Wysteria Hysteria Chili Queen of Sierra Madre


This is a personal blog. Expect a potpourri of stuff.

8 thoughts on “Summer Light

  1. Rapidly growing plants and too much fruit are wonderful problems! We also have an overactive apricot tree. I used to waste hundreds of fruits each year, but now I post a message on Freecycle or the (just started) Cooperative Food Exchange (COFE) of Altadena. I did a post about it on my food blog. If you post it, they (fruit lovers) will come.

  2. What great links! I am reading, reading, reading and when I’m done I’ll be over to gather apricots or axe the plums just because I’m an axehole.

  3. We too have a multitude of fruits growing and withering, if anyone wants kumquats or green gage pums or some kind of we think avocado but we’re not sure looking thing. email me, I’ll give you the address (in Glendale) and you can come help yourself.

  4. Can somebody…anybody..tell me where I can get these in the Pasadena area?

    They don’t sell them at Smart & Final anymore..and I’m craving them:

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