The Adventure Continues… Poinsettias

This Wednesday I’ve decided to repeat one of my favorite Christmas episodes that I originally featured back in 2018. Just as I wrote the first time I shared this 2004 episode of California’s Gold, I thought it would be good to take another look at where and how these beautiful Christmas flowers are grown and their history in Southern California. Although the Eckes were a huge part of the poinsettia industry for nearly 100 years, the family sold their ranch in 2015, and the job of producing all those beautiful poinsettia plants now belongs to a Dutch company known as Dümmen Orange. I would note (again) that the ‘crazy’ colors that frequently show up in the stores this time of year are not a special variety but are dyed with a substance that doesn’t harm the plants. And if you’re wondering about the best way to care for your poinsettia plant, the Laidback Gardener has some really great advice on his blog. Albert Ecke immigrated from Germany to Southern California in 1902 and opened a roadside stall selling fruits and vegetables. By the 1920s his son Paul started selling some of the wild poinsettia plants that grew in the hills above their stall. From these small beginnings, it is now estimated that over 90% of all flowering poinsettias get their start at the Paul Ecke Ranch. Join Huell as he meets Paul, Paul Jr. & Paul III, who give them […]

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Photo artist

I’ve played around with this fun photo editing website a few times now since I first discovered it in January this year, and I do like some of the finished products. But I’ve also realized a couple of things. I can’t help wishing there were more options. Although there are nearly 40 different cool effects to choose from, after using […]

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Colors of the coast

Lately it seems like everybody in my area is going crazy over the purple lupine at Folsom Lake, so naturally I had to go and find some alternative wildflowers. Besides the Douglas iris which I found near Gualala growing almost as thick as the lupine at Folsom, there were so many other shapes and colors. Some of them were familiar […]

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Angel’s trumpet

Although the Brugmansia is extremely toxic, all seven species are still very popular ornamental trees. These plants, native to the South American tropics, are listed as Extinct in the Wild; but they’ve still managed to spread to other regions around the world, thanks to human cultivation. The name “angel’s trumpet” refers to the large, pendulous, trumpet-shaped flowers, 14–50 cm (6–20 […]

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Something extra

When I go hiking and looking for pictures, animals and lovely scenery are usually on the top of my list of things to shoot. But no matter how great my “big” landscape images may come out, I always tend to feel  something is missing unless I find that little extra something as well. What it might be varies from trip […]

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Rodman Slough trail

In my brief visit to Rodman Slough County Park, I found only one fairly short trail, but it was a beautiful hike — and I had it all to myself. I started near the shore and climbed a series of switchbacks up to a ridge, which then took me down through the trees and back to the parking lot. I […]

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Camellia

This is the time of year when our camellias bloom, then drop their petals onto the driveway, where they wither away. Sometimes I’ll find an intact flower lying on the ground, somehow more delicate and beautiful than when it was still alive, on the bush.

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Butterfly garden

I’ve been hearing about a small butterfly garden installed in one of our local parks, and this morning I finally went to check it out. I went early to avoid the day’s heat, so only one small sunny corner of the garden had activity — but I wasn’t disappointed! Now I’m hoping to go back and get some better shots. […]

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