Stranger in a Strange Land – the Flora of Orange County, California


Turns out, living for a year without a car in Southern California is not so much an adventure as it is just a pain-in-the-ass.  Public transportation is kind of an option if you want to travel 4 miles to the local airport in the time it takes to travel from NYC to Philly via train. This 106thstreeter’s temporary life in the OC is very limited. Sadly, I ended up in a “city,” truthfully, it’s really just a series of clusters of infrastructure surrounded by sprawling miles of landscaping, that may be the most boring place in the OC, though only 5 miles from the Pacific Ocean and some very cool, old school Southern Cali beach towns. Working with what I’ve got, I’ve come to know this vast landscaping to nowhere quite well. My nightly passeggiata is pretty much limited to a somewhat enjoyable, somewhat carless walk that at times reminds me of one of my favorite Central Park walks–across 106th Street, around the Harlem Meer, up the Great Hill, and back to East 106th Street. It’s not the surroundings so much as the occasional waft of a sweet-scented plant, pockets of coolness or warmth, or a quick glimpse of a wild critter surprised by my approach. I’ve come to appreciate this landscaping, if only because the plants seem straight out of the pages of Dr. Seuss. Below are photos of some of the flora I will never know the name of. The photos above represent, I think, what the landscape would look like sans landscaping. And don’t even think of the amount of water this flora needs…unless you’ve seen Chinatown.


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