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Saw this rather tattered butterfly (possibly a Western Tiger Swallowtail) this morning and it looked as though it were nursing on the starflower, same as the bee. I know nothing about the feeding habits of butterflies so I can't say what was really happening here.
I had thought for years that this fourteen foot tall shrub was a blue starflower, but I've decided that it isn't. That leaves the $64,000.00 question to which I don't know the answer.
In So Cal it is known as Jacaranda Season. The Jacaranda trees bloom profusely and litter the streets and parked cars with spent blossoms. You don't really want to park your MBZ under a Jacaranda, no matter how lovely they are. Parrot droppings do less damage I think. For us, though, it's all mulch. Ain't nobody going to get down the hill to park under this tree, which is about fifty feet below the deck I took the photo from. Not even in 4WD.
At Casa de las Rocas Grandes, Jacaranda season comes much later in the spring than elsewhere, because we are at the periphery of the Jacaranda comfort zone.
Happened to glance out the window Monday morning and thought the light was kind of interesting. You are looking at the Lake Mathews Estelle Mountain nature reserve, which encompasses most of the open area and then arcs around to the left. several miles further out, at the base of hills, lies Corona, California.
Like artichokes, pomegranates are difficult to eat and there is a mess to get through before you get to the delicious seeds. Technically, pomegranates aren't quite as difficult to eat as artichokes. Mess? Si! Noisy? Si! Yummy? Si! Don't get the juice on a white shirt. Dude, worse than red wine.
Pomegranate juice drizzled into the finished drink is what puts the sunrise in a Tequila Sunrise. Pomegranate juice defines a good Singapore Sling. Oprah makes an excellent pomegranate martini. King Solomon made spiced pomegranate wine. The The Jewish culture holds that the 613 seeds found in a pomegranate represent the 613 commandments of the Torah.
And, get this: The odds are eight to one that Eve was offered a pomegranate from the Tree of Life by the serpent. Scoff if you will, but apples need at least 700 hours of winter chill to thrive, something you won't find in Mediterranean climates.
Just so you know: Most commercial grenadine syrup is no longer made from pomegranate juice. It is icky old corn syrup with artificial flavors. Don't bother.
Sidebar: Israel is way ahead of the curve, having developed two apple varieties which have little or no winter chill requirement. Anna, a Golden Delicious style apple, and Ein Shemer, a yellow/green variety, both tolerate climates with 300-400 chilling hours.