Leonotus leonoris (sp?) getting a late start.
That's either Hebe or Ceanothus, I can't tell from the picture, and I know they use both here.
Before I took this picture, I approached this lady and asked for permission. I told her I'd be standing way back here and they'd all be really small. She smiled and said, "Oh, sure!"
Then I took the picture.
Then she said, "Nice day out to take pictures."
And I said, "Yeah, I like to put pictures of the neighborhood up on my blog. People really enjoy them."
Her eyebrows raised and she seemed curious about the blog so I gave her the URL, or told her she could look up "Bernal Heights garden blog", but I don't even know if that works--I just wanted to give her an idea what the blog is about.
And she said, "Oh, I know there is a guy who has a garden blog on Bernal Heights and I know because my friend told me because she recognized my planter in one of the pictures, and she told me and I looked and it was my planter."
I said, "That was probably me."
And she said, "So I went there and I looked and it was my planter, and it was nothing, it was just...(made a face) 'blah'!"
Then I said, "Oh, people really enjoy seeing pictures of the neighborhood..."
I didn't explain that I like to capture a variety of everything in Bernal Heights, not just what's nice and "pretty", but to get a feel for the whole texture of the place, this place most will never see or walk through, and how really fun it is, maybe, to sort of put yourself in a different place for awhile, and how many different ways it's possible to do that..."
And, I pushed off.
This guy's got a garage sale every Saturday and Sunday.
Guy says, "The IRS would like to know about this man." Or something sort of like that.
Then, walking, I sort of remembered how awhile ago someone in the near suburbs recently came to this blog searching for "Bernal Heights" and spent considerable amount of time surfing around. And then someone else came to the blog soon afterwards from an e-mail (but without any location tagged in SiteMeter) and that visitor spent a long time, and came back for later for more extended visits.
As I walked , and continued taking pictures I sort of imagined the conversation that might have gone on if she had said, "You're the blogger who does "whoreticulture", aren't you?"
I thought maybe we'd talk about how she didn't understand why I put that picture of her blah-looking flowers on my blog when it didn't look nice, and how subconsciously she felt personally singled out or something, but of course, I go to lengths to avoid singling anyone out, including rarely posting any pictures of identifiable people."
I sort of wondered what might have brought her friend to the blog looking for "Bernal Heights." Maybe the woman in the picture just moved to Bernal Heights and she'd never even heard of it before until recently, and her friend was like, "San Francisco? Is that safe? You have kids!" And looked up Bernal Heights to check.
And I'm like, "Is it safe? Not really! People walk around stoned here, all the time."
By now I was like, geez, look at me taking pictures of peoples' houses like this. There are people who would be really freaked out by that idea. That would be an honest, good faith reaction to pictures like mine. "In this day and age of insecurity, is it really appropriate for you to be taking pictures like this?" I'm not asking that question in my own voice, but I can hear it being asked of me.
They would feel kind of ambivalent about visiting this blog. Not just ambivalent about visiting, but ambivalent about whether there should even be a blog such as mine.
That's definitely Ceanothus (so the other one is too), with lantana in front of it.
Maybe those were things that woman in the park might have wanted to say to me. But maybe she didn't feel comfortable doing that for some reason.
I thought how it would be my enjoyment of the blog, and I what I enjoy using it to think about, how that would have to yield to her concerns about safety if what some people say about the world turns out to be the one thing people really are concerned about, more than anything else. I thought, "I learned to panic like this in college."
Do I really want to live that way? Do I carry that message with me forever?
Link to Part V
Link to Part VII