Little treasures in Sonoma, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.
It's always the little things that make life memorable, and it's the same when traveling. Visual, tactile and aromatic qualities of the local botanicals where I travel always catch my attention, and in California, there were many familiar botanicals, albeit with a little twist. The place feels like a cross between my home village in the Western Galilee and my home of the past 12 years here in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Unusually silvery lichen grows on all the naked large oak trees, and is also found on the groun (taking its nourishment from the air, I presume). I was particularly smitten with their strange shape and structure - they look like a microcopic photograph of some viral attack... And the structure of oak leaves and feather-shaped redwoods caught my attention as well. Did I mention yet that I'm really interested in fractals at the moment?
Sonoma blues, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.
Blue skies, blue ocean and of course - some blue flowers: Forget-me-nots shyly emerging from the temporarily green grass meadows, and the rosemary bush at Sonoma County airport was covered with so many flowers it's easily mistaken for lavender. I picked three little rosemary branches and can't wait to use it in my cooking, including for my Mardi Gras party (for launching New Orleans perfume) next Tuesday!
The mimosas here are significantly taller (look like trees rather than bushes), but the flowers are the tiniest little fluffy yellow pompoms. The scent, as I mentioned earlier, is that of sweetpeas and fresh cut grass.
Other yellow flowers which I haven't taken photos of, and also haven't seen FOREVER are yellow sorrels. I promptly nibbled on a whole stalk the moment I found one. They are just about as sour as rhubarb, but the stems are much thinner so you get more time to get accustomed to each tangy bite.