Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Town Monday: San Diego and the Jacaranda Tree

There are a couple of things I love about Monday.

First off, everyone in my house trundles back to school or work after the weekend. I really look forward to a quiet morning of writing. Secondly, I enjoy posting these little My Town Mondays. I've learned a lot about San Diego County. Also, I enjoy reading others' posts of their environs. Please feel free to join in. If you do throw up a MTM post, let us know in the Comments section of the My Town Monday blog. Or even leave a message in my Comments section below. I have Admin privileges for the My Town Monday blog, and I'll hop over there to add your link.

Okay. About San Diego. Did you know the jacaranda is our official urban tree? In Southern California, they bloom twice a year (fall and spring). This is unusual. Apparently, the springtime bloom is prettier. I've never noticed this, though.


Kate Sessions (November 8, 1857 – March 24, 1940), a California botanist and horticulturalist, brought the jacaranda tree to San Diego. Ms. Sessions' nickname is "the Mother of Balboa Park." She planted hundreds of trees in the Park (cypress, pine, oaks, pepper trees and eucalyptus) from seeds from all over the world. This is the statue of her in Balboa Park. We also have an elementary school and a park named after her.

Phoenix, home to my thirteen year old fictional detective Sherry, has a lot of jacaranda trees.

Pretoria, South Africa is known as the Jacaranda City because they have planted so many of the trees. In this city, the trees bloom at the same time as their end-of-the-year exams. There is a saying in Pretoria that if a jacaranda bloom falls on your head, you will pass all your finals.

I think I'll drop a jacaranda bloom on Child #2's head before he takes his two AP (Advanced Placement) exams this spring.

Oh wait! At the University of Queensland in Ipswich, Australia, students refer to the jacaranda tree as the "exam tree" or "purple panic." Here, superstition says if a jacaranda bloom falls on your head, you'll fail your exams.

I guess I won't drop anything on Child #2's head!

Please check out the posts by the other My Town Monday participants by clicking here.




From: http://www.sandiego.gov/citizensassistance/facts/fast.shtm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacaranda
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Sessions

21 comments:

David Cranmer said...

You had me at "a quiet morning of writing." The best.

The jacaranda tree is indeed majestic, in full bloom.

Beth said...

I wish such a beautiful tree would thrive here.
As for kids and exams? Hitting or not hitting them on the head probably wouldn’t make a difference. What I have never understood is how they are able to study while plugged into their iPods!

Kathy Holmes said...

Love the Jacaranda trees! Gorgeous! Even Las Vegas is pretty right now with the blooms on the trees - especially this year because of more rain. Going to put up a MTM post at kathyholmes.net as soon as I get some coffee and settle in - about "The 9th Island" - many don't know that's what Vegas is called by Hawaiians. Surprised? I'll tell why in the post. :)

Clare2e said...

There's a South African musician (and now movie scorer, a once-member of Yes) named Trevor Rabin who made an album I don't think anyone much bought, but I've never forgotten his song about the jacaranda tree! Beautiful to see, and what a difference Kate Sessions made to her surroundings.

FYI- Women of Mystery did do an MTM post and left a comment about it.

Sarakastic said...

In my part of Utah we don't have a lot of trees or flowers so I'm jealous.

Barrie said...

David: Ahhh...I'm just sitting down to write. :)

Beth: I agree. Actually, I think they'd be more efficient at studying if they unplugged.

Kathy: sounds intriguing!

Clare: I just checked the MTM blog and Clair already posted your link. Yay for that woman!

Sarakastic: if it makes you feel any better, these are messy trees. While they're pretty in bloom, I wouldn't want one in my yard. Especially here, where you'd have to clean up after them twice a year.

Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said...

Wow. Gorgeous tree. I head to California for six weeks in 10 days and seeing that picture of the tree makes my heart beat double-time. I can't wait to get back home! (I'm from Nor-Cal but anything Californian makes me nostalgic.)

Allie said...

Wow! I don't think I've ever seen a Jacaranda tree before. Rochester is known for it's lilacs. Similar purple, but totally different otherwise.

Alyssa Goodnight said...

I'm sure Child #2 thanks you. :)

I So Don't Do Spooky is FINALLY at my kids' bookfair!! I was so excited to see it there beside My Life in Pink & Green, which I also enjoyed reading. I work the bookfair on Thursday, and I will totally talk ISDDS up!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

That is one gorgeous tree in bloom!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

The saying here is when lilacs are in bloom, the white bass are running in the river.

Barrie said...

Alyssa: I So Don't Do Mysteries was next to My Life in Pink and Green at the bookfair here last week. :) And THANK YOU for talking up Sherry!!

Green Girl in Wisconsin: Always interesting to hear the sayings from different areas!

lotusgirl said...

That tree is gorgeous.

Alli said...

Thanks for teaching an Aussie something about her own country - I never knew! Once again, a great blog today, Barrie.

Barrie said...

Alli--I'm amazed about all the trivia I learn writing these My Town Monday posts! Very fun!

Teresa said...

We had a jacaranda tree in our backyard at our last house. The blooms were great until they started to drop. Then they were sticky, and they stank, and they stuck to shoes, and they got tracked inside, and they didn't go away with the leaf blower but had to be raked, and they seemed to last in that dying and dead state interminably. So I like my jacarandas in parks and on pretty purple blogs that match them. :)

Anonymous said...
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Angela said...

I would rather a bloom fall on my head than bird crap.

Angela said...

I love the picture of the jacaranda tree you posted. My husband and I are in love with this tree and wish we could plant one right in our front yard, but we live here in Eastern New Mexico and they don't grow here. :( I'm so sad, so I guess I'll just look at your lovely picture. Thank you!

Barrie said...

Angela, I'm glad you're enjoying the photo of the jacaranda tree. I wonder if this tree has a cousin that grows in your neck of the woods?

Maria said...

Lovely! That purple tree is so beautiful! I would love to have places like this in my town.. :(