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3 December 2019

As we were taking a walk between showers yesterday, we were admiring the median strip on Portola to our right. It had recently been festooned with fresh wood chips surrounding new plantings.

Candelabra. Olympus E-PL1 with 14-42mm kit lens at 42mm (84mm) and f5.6, 1/160 second and ISO 200. The DNG Raw file was processed in Adobe Camera Raw.

There was nothing photogenic about it, though. So we turned our gaze back to the sidewalk in front of us in time to catch these peculiar plants inhabiting the more neglected side of the road.

And there we saw a group of reddish Candelabra Aloe, according to Pl@ntNet. We shot the group (below) but then we took a closer shot (above) to focus on the detail of this gregarious plant.

Why is it, we wondered, that the median strip got all the attention and these photogenic beauties were left to collect garbage (that blue spot is a crushed can in the group shot).

When you live in a city, it isn't hard to find things to complain about. You have to pick your battles or you morph into a curmudgeon.

And, in truth, the area that hosted the aloes had recently been trimmed back. It's still a bit seedy but improved over what it looked like during the summer. We thanked and complimented the crew doing the work when we happened upon them a couple of weeks ago and they were surprisingly appreciative.

But then nobody compliments anybody any more.

Imagine if we did. Just a thank-you here and there. One a day to start. Or, if you're feeling particularly ebullient, a compliment. One will suggest itself to you the minute you open your mouth.

We would be like this candelabra. Reaching out to each other. Channeling the rain drops along our guarded petals both to ourselves and our surroundings.

Of course as soon as the thought occurred to us, it started to pour again. We ducked under our hood and trudged home through the lashing wind, going in through the garage to shed our wet clothes and curse the weather.

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