We set off at around 7:30 for the short drive to Balboa Park, San Diego. This is a huge park with lots of museums, theatres, cinemas, restaurants etc. One of these buildings is where the San Diego Cactus Society holds its monthly meetings and where today they held their Spring Show and Plant Sale – the first in the year – a bit like the Havering Cactus Mart in May in the UK – but then many cacti are already in advanced bud and flower while the winter growing Aloes are still doing their thing as well.
Here too, such events are opportunities to meet people. I met up with Al Waltmeyer, a member of the Cactus_Study forum that Alain and I
belong to since around 2002. Always nice to put a face to a name. Mark Fryer was there, Chuck Everson of the original Rainbow Books had a stand and tills were rattling. Here all growers label their plants and can focus on chatting to customers rather than worry about collecting money and calculating %age due to the organising Societies – all plants are paid for through the centralised tills, using bar codes on the labels. Great idea, except that the queue I was in grew and grew as there were problems with the tills. The other advantage is that Credit Cards can be used. Despite the recession, ‘brisk trading’ was in evidence.
S1238 are pictures taken at this event, while S1239 were shots taken in the Cactus & Succulent Garden that is maintained by the SDCSS. Shame to see that here too, Joe Public (the usual tiny minority) find it necessary to deface plants by scratching their names into giant Euphorbia, Opuntia and Agave.
Next stop was Eunice’s home (S1240), to drop off pots, check on Yogi, her dog and take a look at her plants – nice collection, but too few cacti for my liking. But collections are very individual things and it is just as well that they are all different. We learned that there are cristate Agave and that some reside in Bellflower.
On to S1241 and finally some plants (the inevitable Dudleya) in habitat, growing on the rocks along Highway 101, here called Ventura Highway, so I had to hum the song by the 70’s group America that our little group, Canto, would perform night after night. The sun was low in the sky, making for some interesting shots.
We ended the day at S1242. You guessed it – ‘another bloody sunset’.