Tag: trees

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Bird Formation

If yesterday is a measure, darkness will bring little to no relief from the monsoonal heatwave oppressing Southern California. Muggy air cooled down to 23 degrees Celsius (74 F) outdoors overnight but to 29 C (84 F) in our apartment—first instance since we moved here such imbalance occurred. As I write, outside and inside temps are in near (sorrowful) equilibrium: 31.6 C (89 F) and 32.7 C (91 F), respectively.

Looking for some additional activity, early evening, I walked about parts of San Diego neighborhoods University Heights and North Park. The Featured Image and companion come from the latter—along The Boulevard approaching Texas Street. As I passed by this tree, something hanging on the bark caught my attention. Can you see why?

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The One That Remains

Two days ago, I shared with you a palm pair on Oregon Street in North Park; the shorter of the two had been marked by city contractors for removal. More by chance than planning, my wife and I walked by the location this afternoon; the tree infested with South American Palm Weevils is gone.

The other must be healthy because it still stands, as you can see from the Featured Image. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 100, 1/8000 sec, 28mm; 3:50 p.m. PDT. I used Leica Q2 to make two street shots, choosing the cropped top to include the magnificent, sprawling shadow.

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Mourning Moment

As my wife and I walked up Meade Avenue in North Park, today, a sickly palm caught my attention. Crossing Oregon Street, I saw a white X on the right tree, indicating that city workers had marked it for removal. I am uncertain about the health of the other, but no marking indicates that it isn’t slated to be chopped down.

San Diego fights futilely to hold back advance of the South American Palm Weevil, which was observed along the Mexican border in 2011. The first infestations appeared five years later. The insects essentially infest the heart of the Canary Island Date Palm crown, destroying it.

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Bark Art

Trust the wife to have a good eye for the amazing. Today, while walking through Old Trolley Barn Park, which is located in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood, Annie stopped to regard tree bark and photograph it with her iPhone 13 Pro. I almost walked past, ignoring her interest. But quick examination revealed a mesmerizing mosaic that could easily be a painting hanging in an art gallery.

When she finished her impromptu shoot, I set to work with Leica Q2. For the Featured Image, I used the Macro control—activated by turning a ring around the lens barrel. Vitals, aperture manually set for both: f/4, ISO 100, 1/50 sec, 28mm; 10:57 a.m. PDT.

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Chopped Before Its Time

While walking West on Monroe Avenue, in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood, my wife and I could hear tree cutting as we approached cross-street Georgia. Sure enough, to our left, going towards Mission, a work crew cut and carted two palms. We had to investigate.

As you can see from the Featured Image and companions, all captured using Leica Q2, an extremely healthy-looking palm top is lifted and dumped. I wondered why and what was chopped. Annie and I walk down this street somewhat regularly, not recalling any recent road signs or other indications that the city would destroy more trees.

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Be Mine

The menacing palm that you met in April 2021 dresses in holiday-appropriate attire, like Uncle Sam garb for Fourth of July. Now he’s ready for Valentine’s Day in 13 days and has been at least since I captured the Featured Image on Jan. 4, 2022. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 100, 1/640 sec, 28mm; 2:04 p.m. PST.

Composed as shot, the moment comes from Leica Q2. If you live in, or visit, San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood, you can see this terrifying tree on North Avenue between Meade and Monroe.

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Where the Palm Crown Fell

Now I understand why the city of San Diego cut down the majestic palm on my street that South American Palm Weevils had infested. The dead, or dying trees, are dangerous. What a story we tell today, with accompanying photographs. Read and look on.

Walking with my wife along Meade Ave. in University Heights, I told her about the restaurant that Canadian officials closed for accepting dog photos instead of vaccination verifications for SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19. Wanting to confirm country, I asked Annie to stop at cross-street Georgia, where I pulled out iPhone 13 Pro and web-searched. If not for that 30 seconds delay, we would have missed the disaster that had occurred at the corner. She saw the aftermath and called me to look.

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Lemons and Oranges

Winter, or what I call late Summer, is when citrus trees bear luscious fruit in Southern California. Consider this lovely lemon tree that greets residents of quaint cottages along the Alabama-Florida alley. Who wouldn’t want to live in such a charming retreat, tucked away and lush?

But bring your high-paying job. Charm isn’t cheap in San Diego, given rising real estate costs. Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $2,095, according to Zumper (about which I am largely unfamiliar). When I last cited the company’s data, February 2021, the median was $1,810. Yikes! Two bedroom: $2,895.

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A Rose by Any Other Name is Gone

Following “The Tree Tragedy” that destroyed the provider of shade (for us) and food and refuge (for birds and squirrels), I was ready to give notice and move out of our apartment. One problem: In December 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom essentially closed down the state for the entire month in response to a reported surge in SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 cases (e.g., positive tests for infection).

But Spring (e.g., Early Summer in San Diego parlance) brought more birds than any other year—many flocking to a hedge nearby our assigned parking space. Across the street, they, and other animals, used the mighty date palm as a majestic habitat. But South American Palm Weevils infested the tree, which the city destroyed in late July. The bugs are not indigenous and removal of infected palms seeks to slow their spread.