It felt like spring was about to explode in Piedmont last week, and the Piedmont Recreation Department's Walking on Wednesdays group was ready for it. With Spring weather having arrived, an- other strong turnout of 33 walkers showed up. Crocker Park was the announced destination.
The group was pleased to have three new walkers join them. Maya and Alissa read about Walking on Wednesdays in the Piedmont Post and decided to come walk with the group. Linda, visiting family members Nancy and Cliff , also came along.
Up Highland Avenue to Sierra, Sheridan, and Wildwood Avenues the parade went. At the corner of Sheridan and Wildwood the group admired the beautiful front garden of Jiggs and Jackie with its constantly changing variety of flowers. This week there were tulips in full bloom and many other flowers. A half block later, the group went through the Hall Fenway, where yellow daffodils were starting to emerge.
As they came out of the Fenway they heard a chain saw. Crosiing Crocker Avenue, and entering Crocker Park, they saw a crew cutting slabs of the fallen pine's trunk into sections to be hauled away.
The spring flowers that were bursting out all around town were an additional incentive for people to come out and walk the Piedmont streets. However, the high winds on Sunday morning changed the face of Crocker Park. A 90-year old Canary Island pine, estimated at 85 feet, was blown down, damaging other nearby trees, and with a root structure of about eight feet across. A crew had been working with chain saws and were still at it on Wednesday morning.
The group continued through the park past Benjamin Bufano's mother bear with cubs sculpture that causes some people to refer to this as "Bear Park." Scott Sibley told the group that an Oakland artist, Don Rich, has a foundry and has created new castings of Bufano's work.
About a year earlier, Stuart had taken the group to the home of Dan in the 200 block of King to see the tropical plant wonderland out of an ordinary front yard.
Dan was working in his yard and welcomed the group to view both the front and back section of his unique garden. It has a wide variety of tropical plants, and a stone water fountain.
One of the unique plants is a Doryanthes palmeri, which blooms about every 35 years, He said he has planted a few of them to cut down on his waiting time.