Posted in flowers, Photography

Spring tulip blooms at “Mr. Bulb Guy” house

California is officially out of its years-long drought. So spring flowers are popping up everywhere and the hills are finally green, not its usual brown color. There are lots of places suggested to see spring blooms, but one of them was someone’s backyard. He is known as Mr. Bulb Guy. Every year he opens his tulip-filled backyard to visitors wanting to enjoy nature in an intimate setting.

I felt awkward going to someone’s house unannounced, and a stranger’s house at that. I almost asked Chris to turn the car around but changed my mind when I saw people, of all different ages and ethnic backgrounds, chatting and smiling in front of the poppy-lined house.

I wondered if we would see Mr. Bulb Guy since it would be a lot of work for him to greet all the visitors. But he wandered around talking about his flowers, shaking hands, and taking pictures with his visitors. He wore a fantastic outfit complete with a green cape, neon green top and sunglasses.

His garden has accomplished what he wanted it to become: a local community place for people and neighbors to come together. It’s a free event although you can make a donation to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

He told us he’s been doing this for 33 years. We joked that he could cross out “nearly” from a pin he was wearing: “I’m nearly famous.” He asked how we found out about his garden, because he has been surprised at the variety of news outlets featuring his story.

You could tell he has a great sense of humor from his whimsical car, signs, and fun attire. The name “Mr. Bulb Guy” was given to him from a news reporter year ago, and it stayed with him. But the reporter passed away and they never got to meet; a placard honoring her was placed in his garden.

Mr. Bulb Guy, thank you for sharing your beautiful garden with your neighbors and community!

Check out the links below to learn more about his mission:

http://www.the-bulbguy.com/

https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/03/23/the-bulb-guy-and-his-san-jose-garden-make-a-colorful-return/

Posted in learning with kids, Raising kids

My kids say I killed their pet frogs

If you remember from my previous posts, I wrote about our pet tadpole turned frog. Kids named him Ribbit. He didn’t do much except eat and poop, so we had to transfer him to a small filtered tank. It was torturous to keep up with the frequent water changes and all the commotion it created; wet floor, dripping water, too much cleaning up after kids who love to make big messes.

Ribbit adjusted well to his new tank with three new snails: Gooper, Sticky, and Sticko. But the kids were worried that he was lonely. So I ordered a new frog from the same company we got Ribbit as a tadpole.

Our new frog named Rocket

A small white box arrived a few days later; inside it, a skinny pale frog swam around a clear plastic bag. His fast swimming determined his new name: Rocket.

When we put Rocket in the tank, we checked constantly to make sure Ribbit wouldn’t eat his new friend; African Clawed Frog can be aggressive towards each other if there is a big size comparison. Thankfully they were cohabiting peacefully. Rocket must’ve been aware of his smaller stature, because he rarely interfered with Ribbit’s eating.

Deliriously happy
Small, skinny, translucent. Getting Rocket acclimated to the tank’s temperature. The light makes him look like an alien here.

One day Ellis told me that they were best friends now: Ribbit gave piggy-back rides to Rocket.

Ok, so all things were going smoothly.

Rocket exploring his new home

But last week we had a fiasco. It might have been a combination of factors, but the kids are convinced that I killed both frogs from a bad water change.

Thursday night our two amphibians swam erratically and seemed restless. I thought maybe they were excited with the new water change: I couldn’t have been more wrong. The next morning I found Ribbit floating heads up near the filter and Rocket sitting motionless at the bottom of the tank.

I debated a long time deciding if I should add this picture, but I wanted to show how their body swelled. They got bloated in the water. I apologize if this picture upsets you.
Buried

Kids still tear up when they are reminded of their pet frogs. Elliot tells me that even though they died, we will always remember them as good frogs to us. Then, he asks me in an exasperated tone why I killed their frogs: couldn’t I have been more careful?; why didn’t I wait longer with the water conditioner?

It’s a difficult life experience to process. The next day we went to PetSmart and got a couple of neon tetra fish named The Speedy Bros. And our neighbor gifted us a tiny snail from her tank: so tiny it doesn’t look real but it zooms all over the tank. It was named Mini-go.

Posted in flower of the day

Flower of the Day: March 25, 2019.

These bright flowers remind me of crinkled tissue paper.

My picture here does not show the extent of their graceful blooms. I wish I took the picture from a distance to show how they look like they’re floating against the blue sky. But taking flower pictures with kids is major distraction: my attention is split telling the kids to stop ninja chopping each other and to stay on the sidewalk.

But I did notice that its stems and unbloomed buds had fuzz all along it, as well as lots of leaves. I wonder if those factors give the thin stems its stability.

Something to google…first I need to learn what kind of flower this is. If you know, please share.  🙂

Hope everyone has a great start to a new week!