The Cactus Patch
June 2017

Festivities and Islands
A Letter From Bruce
by Bruce Hargreaves

On the 22nd we were at the Garden Fest at BC. Although the usual booths (including the BCSS) were there, the Fest has become much more than just garden-oriented activities. It was a bit overwhelming.

The next day we had our family dinner at the re-opened Cactus Valley. The new owner is Wayne Lee, which was the name of Anne's late husband! We asked for Nopales (prickly pear pad) soup, but were told they had none. Then we ordered Nopales omelets and were told there would be a delay while they went to get the Nopales! The food was otherwise as before.

On the 24th we found someone had smashed the driver's window on the car! Nothing was taken -they even left the Neil Diamond CD on the driver's seat, proving they have poor taste.

On the 30th we went to the Jewish Food Festival at Temple Beth El. The main sandwiches were good, but overpriced. We found we should have ordered falafel bowls which were a much better deal. It was a hot day and there was very little shade.

On the 4th of May we went to Fresno to hear Rob Skillin speak on Yemen and Soqotra (aka Socotra).Terry was there selling plants. Even though we had heard two other talks on Soqotra, it was great. The island is still tops on my bucket list. I took Plectranthus socotranus for the brag table. It was hot and Polly's sister Nancy had a non-functioning cooler, so we did not stay the night.

The 6th of May we had a celebration of Anne's birthday at her house. Next day we continued celebrating at the Melodrama production of “The Mermaid of Lake Ming”. It was delightfully silly.

On the 9th we heard Nels Christianson speak on the Canaries. I thought we did well to include the two main islands on our visit, but Nels showed us six out of the seven! If you thought there were too many Aeoniums, just note that of the 39 species, 33 are only found on the Canaries! He did go overboard on the genus Greenovia (which looks like an Aeonium with cup or ball-shaped leaves) since there are only four species. (All of them are found on the Canaries.)

On the 12th we went to the SPCA book sale and I got a picture book on Bromeliads by Bill Seaton. It goes overboard on Tillandsias and has not enough on other genera, but is a good introduction. One fault is the capitalization of species names.

On the14 we had a celebration of Mothers' Day at Lora's. This was a special occasion as my mother would have been 100 on the 29th of April if she had lived. We will have a family reunion to celebrate in July.

I don't play “Pokemon” but my agave garden in front of the house was invaded by a Geodude anyway!

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