Amoeba O’Ceallaigh and I were talking tonight after dinner. I told him I am very prudent and very practical. He appeared to be quite stunned by that news. I asked him to explain. Instead, he replied, “You bent over in the middle of the road today to take a photograph and a pickup almost side -swiped your butt!” Don’t you just hate it when men do that? There you are talking about one thing and they go and change the subject to another?
Anyway, onto the post you’ve been waiting for … The Cannonball Tree:
There are many wondrous and amazing plants at Foster’s Botanical Garden, and I am certain that while I oogled one, I missed seeing two or three others. I know that has to be true of the Cannonball Tree, because the moment I saw it I lost all concept of place or time. All that mattered was me, tree and camera.
The flower is the first thing that caught my eye. I had never seen anything like it. As far as I can tell it didn’t have a scent, or the scent was too light to compete with the Magnolia Blossom.
Almost immediately I was frustrated. The tree was in the direct sunlight and my photo quality was nil. To top it off, I couldn’t get close enough to the dang thing. The chain-link fence around it encompassed much more space than most of the tree protecting barriers.
That irked me. I had no intention of harming the tree. I just wanted a few photos. I looked right. I looked left. I looked front. I looked back. Then I stepped over the barrier and approached the tree.
Most of the flowers were over my head. The tree stood next to a lovely garden wall fashioned from lava rock. I climbed up on the wall to get the shots I wanted. Being prudent and practical, I looked first for loose rocks or cracks in the mortar.
On the backside of the tree I found a beautiful flower right at face level, and there was no slanting sunlight to screw up my shot. I took photos from near and far, paying close attention to where I put my feet, because coconut-sized nuts covered the ground. A couple of the nuts had broken open. They contained a pulpy fruit that mynah birds apparently love.
The typical Cannonball fuit is six to eight inches in diameter. My subconscious related them to coconuts and — while I was snapping photos of them at least, I never gave it much thought — and then:
I saw the sign and immediately wondered how badly a thump on the head one could get. I reached down to scoop up a cannonball. My hand closed around it … and I dang near fell over. I had to shift my weight and lift the ball. It probably only weighed 3 or 4 pounds, but I expect that to be more than enough to cause a headache. I looked right. I looked left. I looked up. I looked down. Then — proof that I am prudent and practical — I retreated to the safer side of the barrier. Besides, it wasn’t like I needed any more photos anyway.