We came back to Oakland today after a full weekend in Fresno. At MJ’s suggestion we drove down to Visalia to visit Mooney Park. The park is home to a replica of the famous statue, The End of the Trail, the original of which was donated to the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. The statue is of a mounted Indian hunched over his saddle with a spear dragging on the ground, all larger than life. Amazing how much sadness and loss can be communicated through a work of art.
On the way back we peeled of Highway 99 and wandered through Kingsburg and Sanger. We missed the blossom trail by about a week – most of the trees in the orchards along the roadway had already gone to leaf. There were a few late blossoming ornamental plum trees with a deep purple or pink flower. We also saw the netting over the almond trees to keep the birds off the tender growth. The orchards on the way to the ranch are a little behind, and I still see many blossoming trees beside the road.
Saturday was opening day at the Forestiere Gardens, almost canceled due to morning rain while we were at the memorial service. The out-of-town family caught the last tour of the day at 4.00. I remember Ben taking me to the gardens one July 4 holiday weekend. The rooms preserved underground are a tribute to one man’s vision and painstaking labor over thirty years, mostly with a pick ax digging through hard pan. The Forestiere Gardens gave me the idea of planting a lemon and a lime tree in the same planter box. Baldassare Forestiere grafted seven fruits onto a single tree, and I now know what a chedro is.