January 1, 2022

Ginkgo tree at the Descanso Gardens, December 11, 2021 (oil pastels on pastel paper)

If you’ve been following One CA Girl for a year, this ginkgo tree may look familiar. This is because I also did an oil pastel of this exact tree almost one year ago to the day. (See January 1, 2021). But when I sat in the potager garden a couple weeks ago, I was taken by a slight terra cotta back color I might use to make this lovely golden yellow be up standing for this year’s New Year’s image. I think the slight lime green of the leaves also somehow drove me to use my terra cotta pastel paper as an under color for this one. 

Ginkgo tree at the Descanso Gardens, December 31, 2021

Hard to believe, but this is a photo of the same gingko tree two weeks later. We had quite a winter storm this week and as you can see all that’s left is a bit of yellow foliage fluff on the ground. I saw further evidence of the storm a little further along a path in the form of a huge old coast live oak that had fallen down, roots showing and all. Seeing such things really takes it out of me as that tree had probably been standing in that spot for over 150 years. But as is my usual I try to look on the bright side of things, and with that thought in mind I noticed that a huge area that was previously in the shade of an evergreen oak was now in bright sunshine. That should be a signal for the understory plants to perk up and be noticed. But I love those magnificent trees so dearly it really feels like I had to say goodbye to an old friend.

Speaking of saying good bye. It’s time to say good bye to my 2021 calendar. For 2021 I have been enjoying the beautiful flowers of Antonio Valente on a monthly basis. I tried to order some of his lovely gladiolas, but his nursery business is in Ontario. And such businesses are not allowed to ship their goods to CA. Sad, really because I would love to plant some of his old fashioned gladiolus. However, at least I have had his calendar all year, and I enjoyed his flowers vicariously through photos. He has recently shared his seed catalog online and of course I would love to order some—Love in the Mist and Sweet Pea seeds. However, I’m sure they would not be allowed to ship those to CA.

Don’t know about you, but at the start of a new year I always hang a colorful calendar somewhere in my house. Over the years I have had quite a variety of different kinds, including but not limited to the following: Erte fashions, Monet, many iterations of  impressionist painter calendars, numerous Van Gogh calendars, a calendar that featured “tongue in cheek” images/text related to coffee, and the elements from the periodic table. I also remember various years of rainbows, flowers (old botanicals included), and butterflies. For my 2022 calendar I will be looking at a Nature Conservancy calendar in my kitchen. For many years my mom and I were members of the Nature Conservancy. As a result I have had countless Nature Conservancy calendars hanging in my house. It will be nice to have such an old friend hanging around again. It kind of adds to my hope that we will remain mindful about the need to take care of the plants and animals around us. I know I will be thinking about the wonderful trees we have around us here in SoCal, especially one glorious ginkgo and oak tree at the Descanso Gardens. 

BTW Are you a calendar girl (loved that movie by the way…)? Or a Calendar person? Any memorable years of pictures? Hopes for this new year?

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