Every year outside my window, this Golden Oak bursts open with flowers marking the beginning of Summer. June 21st means nothing to her. This year, it started in early April and is now in full-on, magnificent bloom.
I call it a Golden Oak, that’s what a tree trimmer told me it was years ago, but funny enough, I can’t find the picture that matches this tree in all the research I’ve done. And the yellow flowers aren’t really flowers, but seeds. When it blooms, the tree is full of birds and squirrels, snatching up the little seeds from the large, flower-like pods. Lizards run up and down her trunk.
I used to think this tree was unusual, but now I’ve noticed this tree all over Southern California, so I guess it’s pretty common. It’s planted on both sides of the 101 going north all the way to Santa Barbara. I see them scattered throughout the different canyons I frequent, especially mine, under the Hollywood sign. It’s kind of comforting, this tree.
It’s at least 80 feet tall, towering over everything else, so I assume it was planted when Beachwood was developed, back in 1928, which would make it 80 years old or so. I am attached to it. It’s dances in the wind, holds the red-tailed hawk at dusk, says hello to me each morning when I open my windows to catch the breath of dawn. I definitely feel her vibration. And she is definitely signaling summer has arrived in Los Angeles.