After writing a bit on Friday about jacaranda trees, I have been noticing them everywhere. They're in the Trader Joe's parking lot. They are growing along the freeway. Obviously they have been planted in the dead spaces at the on and off ramps on The 101. I've noticed those gorgeous towering blooming branches in the neighborhoods next to mine, along the avenues, and at the doctor's office.
We moved to Southern California in February 2002. That first spring I saw purple trees. In that grey cement and black asphalt wasteland which is called Los Angeles, all of a sudden, there was purple. Purple everywhere. Magnificent purple trees lined the streets. Then the blossoms dropped all over the grey and black and transformed it into a fairyland of lavender pathways. As suddenly as the purple appeared, it disappeared. I forgot about them.
The next spring, those invisible trees bloomed again and everyone exclaimed about the 'jacaranda trees blooming'. It seems that when the jacarandas bloom, it's a rite of passage from winter to true spring. I assumed that 'jacaranda' was a Spanish word for a Spanish or Mexican tree and was pronounced 'haw-ca-rawnda'. But, no. The name originated from the Guarani language (in South America) and is pronounced 'jack-a-randa'.
Evidently, people either love them or hate them. They're big. They're bossy and like to take over. See those huge pods hanging down in bunches? It turns out that they're messy, too.
Since I don't have to clean up after their messy throw-everything-on-the-ground-when-they're-done-with-it ways and I don't have to hack-saw them down, I love them.