P90202KThere is no shortage of artistic pictures online and within the context of gardening blogs. Some really are fascinating. I particularly like those that show the weather in far away and mythical lands like Colorado, Chicago, North Carolina, Australia, Oklahoma, New Zealand, Austin, and South Africa. Then there are the cats, dogs, hens, horses, pigs, and a few others that are not so entertaining. The close ups of flowers, fruits, leaves, mushrooms and any variety of odds and ends are amusing if they are not immediately recognizable. Yet, all these pictures are not my style. I am not the artistic sort.

I will try though. This shiny chestnut brown acorn half shell just looked like something that I should get a picture of. It was just laying there on the big sycamore leaf as if it were on display. The interior is even shinier and more richly colored than the exterior, although I did not turn it over to confirm. I am just guessing from my experience with other acorns.

The sycamore that provided the leaf is a California sycamore, Platanus racemosa.

I could not identify the species of the oak that provided the acorn. I am pretty certain that it is not from a coast live oak, valley oak, black oak or tanoak; respectively, Quercus agrifolia, Quercus lobata, Quercus kelogii or (Notho)Lithocarpus densiflorus. There are not many other options. I suspect that it could be from a canyon live oak or Shreve oak; respectively, Quercus chrysolepis or Quercus parvula ‘Shrevei’. Neither produces acorns that are typically as round as this one was.

Nor could I identify the species of squirrel, rat, raccoon, crow or whatever unknown animal dropped it.

Well, perhaps this is why I am not the artistic sort. I am instead the technical sort.

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29 thoughts on “Not My Style

  1. That’s a wonderful photo! Without the explanation, it looked like a carefully cut coconut shell — with the explanation, it’s fascinating that the edge is so ‘regular’ ! Most in my experience have rather jagged edges.

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    1. Brent is the designer (down south). Fortunately, he is also a horticulturist, so knows how to combine the artistic with the technical. My Pa happens to be a very respected bonsai master and artist in the Pacific Northwest; and bonsai is the ultimate combination of art and horticultural technique! (Coincidentally, ‘Tomeo’ sounds something like ‘Tomayo’. Those meeting him for the first time are sometimes surprised that he is of Italian descent rather than Japanese descent.) I understand the horticulture of bonsai, but the artistic aspect of it is beyond me.

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  2. We all have our own styles and Tony your technical style is fabulous. I like reading your posts because every single time they teach me something new.

    Oak trees are my favourite above all! I have found Holm oaks do well where we are but others struggle. The kangaroos devour them!

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    1. Thank you.
      Holm oak is what we know as holly oak, and is not only my least favorite of oaks, but is also among my least favorite of trees. Technically, it is well rated as a street tree for the narrow park strips in San Jose. It is remarkably resilient and disperses very complaisant roots. However, what is not often discussed is that almost all become very infested with scale that drops an abundance of sticky honeydew on parked cars and pavement, and coats the foliage with dingy sooty mold. It is funny how it is such an excellent tree in other regions, but for some weird reason, is always a sticky and dirty mess on the Central and South Coasts.

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      1. Oh that is good to know! I will keep an eye out for scale. I wonder what makes them so suceptable? Not a problem where they are planted though (they are a shade tree in a parkland cleared area of our 5acres). What is your favourite tree Tony?

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      2. There is probably no need to watch for it. If it were a problem in your area, you would know about it by now. I believe that it is a very well rated oak in most areas, but happens to be a problem here, probably because the predatory wasp that should control the scale does not survive here; or because the scale proliferates in our mild weather and survives through winter. I really do not have a favorite tree. The native coast redwoods that I live with are awesome, but even they are not perfect trees.

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      1. I was admiring your effort in what you called “trying” to be the “artistic sort,” and being willing to post a picture of something you hadn’t even identified. Maybe you’re going beyond your comfort zone, or stretching, or something like that… Probably all this intimate observation and connection to nature is making you more of an artist all the time.

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