Posted June 4, 2020 in San Diego, CA
I’m accustomed to Oregon’s “pink snow” week, when ornamental cherry trees drop pale pink petals by the thousands onto the streets and sidewalks. It usually happened in May. This in no way prepared me for the absolute saturation of deep purple blossoms of San Diego’s many Jacaranda trees. These trees start out slowly in mid-May, with a few blooms tantalizing passersby from way up in the bare branches. But now, early June, it is breathtaking to see the trees in rows, draped in the deepest of royal velvet cloaks, blue from one angle, purple from another, but never ever pale, no subtle lavenders or lilacs. Just PURPLE!! And once in full bloom, it rains purple for days!
The trees, according to my Google sources, are a type of Mimosa, Jacaranda mimosifoila, with tiny rows of leaves similar to the Mimosas I have seen in other places in the world. But instead of the Seuss-like fuzzy pinkish blooms of those mimosas, these have big bell-like blossoms that could swallow a hummingbird alive!
I think I saw my first Jacaranda in Botswana, but there were so many other amazing new things for me to absorb that they took a back seat. The Shelter In Place happening now in Southern California has given me many opportunities to walk through the neighborhoods, so now I know where to find the prime Purple Rain. In the painting above, I tried to capture the special leaning-toward-indigo color of the shadows, and the sheer volume of petals, with limited success. I think this may be another example of me being overwhelmed by color… But I may take another stab at it using a more botanical style. Unless I get distracted by some other Seussical wonder… or a hummingbird…