I had taken every precaution.
I’d made sure there was only five bucks in my billfold, and I’d Segwayed over to the SF County Fair Building there in front of the Arboretum in Golden Gate Park rather than taking my car so I wouldn’t be able to carry boxes full of pots home.
See, it was the semiannual show/sale of the SF Cactus and Succulent Society, and we know how I do love my Haworthias…and Faucarias and Gasterias and Euphorbias and all the Mesembryanthemaceae, many of which in a massive reorganization of the taxonomy are now called something difficult to remember
It was a gorgeous ride over there through the Haight, during which I discovered that the parking lot for Amoeba Records, of which I had not known the existence owing to it being at the end of a slot canyon between Amoeba and its neighbor building, is a treasure trove of street art. Some pretty entertaining stuff, actually:
And then the park. How can it be that I so rarely get into the park on my Segway, it being the perfect park vehicle? Somehow, as soon as they enter the park, cars and even SUVs become calmer, in less rush, and thus more generous to smaller and slower vehicles. (I return this generosity by trying keep that ecological grimace off my face when I see an SUV.)
So anyhow, I glide up to the Fair Building and chain the Segway to a convenient bike rack at the door and walk in as I’m shucking the helmet. My heart goes pitter-patter as I take in a roomful of cactus and succulent fanciers hovering over long tables of specimens and murmuring in delight.
Not me, I’m here only to admire the plants and take pics. Well, maybe kick a planter or two while reminding myself that I’m broke and have too many plants at home to take care of as it is.
And of course what do I see on the first damn table but a handsome Lithops the size of a medium egg. I didn’t know they got that large! L. pseudotruncatella v. groendravensis.
And only $4.00!!! Sigh. And then right beside it another Lithops, but this one disguised as a Conophytum, L. aucamptae v. Jackson’s Jade.
At $3.50. I mean, together that’s less than I paid for my bargain lunch yesterday!!!!
See, I’ve killed many Mesembryanthemaceae: Lithops, Dinteranthus, Pliospilos, Pseudolithos, Fenestraria, and other genera I can’t remember. But I always wanted a Conophytum….and a Conophytum look-alike will do.
And then in the next aisle, the Haworthias. Omigod. There were many that I have, and many that I’ve given away, and lots of less lovely ones that I don’t have and, since I have room now only for the handsomest specimens, can easily pass up. But oh, there were really nice-looking ones that I wanted badly.
Like, say, the H. cooperii
and the H. blackbeardii,
both of which have larger translucent areas at the leaf tips than any I’ve ever seen, and check out those awns on the blackbeardii! What a deal at $16 for the two.
Alas, I had neglected to remove the credit card from my wallet.
And see, I had to buy all four so they would fit snugly down at the bottom of the pack so that when the pack was on my back they couldn’t tip and I could make it safely home.
Need I mention that the return trip was made with excruciating caution? Wouldn’t do to fall with my babies on my back.