Two roads diverged / Dos caminos se bifurcaban

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

ONE DAY LAST WEEK, I decided to take a walk into the neighborhood of Los Pacos and continue into the countryside. There were some steep climbs. I’d always intended to follow a tunnel beneath the highway. But the few times I’ve tried, it’s been flooded or just plain muddy and unpassable. This time it wasn’t.

It was a bit creepy at first, but I got over my irrational fear and enjoyed the angles of the roads overhead, as well as the few other smiling people I met along the way. It becomes rural — or at least countrified — very quickly. When we moved from New Haven to Guilford, Connecticut, we referred to it as living in the country. One of our local friends said, “No, you live in a tony shore community.” It felt like country to us. I mean, we heard a rooster in the morning.

Anyway, what I discovered this time on my walk looked like “country” to me. I met a very pleasant Finnish woman along the way who was trying to figure out what kind of fruit tree (beyond its pick-by date) she was looking at. Being Finnish, she probably wouldn’t have said anything to me, but I could see she was perplexed and, being not-Finnish, I started talking. We both had plant identifier apps on our mobiles, but neither came up with anything appropriate. And every time we tried, our apps gave a different answer. Because of all the exposed seeds, pomegranate was tossed around, but we both were pretty certain pomegranates look more like apples.

I left her to continue my walk and, about 10 minutes later I thought, “Loquat!” She was headed into town and I was already in “the country,” so it was too late too catch up with her. Then, I found a pomegranate on the ground and I knew for certain what the other tree was not. I passed a farm along the way, but I never saw a farmer to show the photo. I did however see his large and beautiful zucchini.

Note 14 Dec.: Thanks to blog reader Yoli, my nephew Matt in South Dakota, my cousin Sarah in Oregon and her recommendation for me to visit “What’s This Plant?” at https://www.reddit.com/r/whatsthisplant/, the mystery is solved. It’s a Brachychiton populneus (aka Kurrajong or Bottle Tree). Australian native introduced to Mediterranean countries.

Nutrition and Fitness Report
Stretching: Once Monday, once so far today.
Gym: Chest and back today. Intense.
Notes: San Geraldo’s apple cake (a slice) after lunch.

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UN DÍA LA SEMANA PASADA, decidí dar un paseo por el barrio de Los Pacos y continuar hacia el campo. Hubo algunas subidas empinadas. Siempre tuve la intención de seguir un túnel debajo de la autopista. Pero las pocas veces que lo he intentado, ha estado inundado o simplemente embarrado e intransitable. Esta vez no fue así.

Fue un poco espeluznante al principio, pero superé mi miedo irracional y disfruté de los ángulos de las carreteras en lo alto, así como de las pocas personas sonrientes que conocí en el camino. Se vuelve rural, o al menos campestre, muy rápidamente. Cuando nos mudamos de New Haven a Guilford, Connecticut, lo llamamos vivir en el campo. Uno de nuestros amigos locales dijo: “No, viveis en el campo, viveis en una comunidad costera de clase alta.” Nos sentimos como el campo. Por ejemplo, “escuchamos un gallo por la mañana!”

De todos modos, lo que descubrí esta vez en mi caminata me pareció “campo.” En el camino conocí a una mujer finlandesa muy agradable que estaba tratando de averiguar qué tipo de árbol frutal (más allá de su fecha de caducidad) estaba mirando. Al ser finlandesa, probablemente no me hubiera dicho nada, pero pude ver que estaba perpleja y, al no ser finlandés, comencé a hablar. Ambos teníamos aplicaciones de identificación de plantas en nuestros móviles, pero a ninguno se le ocurrió nada apropiado. Y cada vez que lo intentamos, nuestras aplicaciones dieron una respuesta diferente. Debido a todas las semillas expuestas, la granada fue lanzada, pero ambos estábamos bastante seguros de que las granadas se parecían más a manzanas.

La dejé para continuar mi caminata y, unos 10 minutos después pensé: “¡Níspero!” Ella se dirigía a la ciudad y yo ya estaba en “el campo,” así que era demasiado tarde para alcanzarla. Luego, encontré una granada en el suelo y supe con certeza lo que no era el otro árbol. Pasé por una granja en el camino, pero nunca vi a un granjero para mostrar la foto. Sin embargo, vi su calabacín grande y hermoso.

Nota 14 de diciembre: Gracias a la lectora del blog Yoli, a mi sobrino Matt en Dakota del Sur, a mi prima Sarah en Oregon y su recomendación de que visite “¿What’s This Plant?” en https://www.reddit.com/r/whatsthisplant/, el misterio está resuelto. Es un Brachychiton populneus (también conocido como Kurrajong o árbol botella). Nativo australiano introducido en los países mediterráneos.

Informe de Nutrición y Estado Físico
Estiramiento: Una vez el lunes, una vez hasta ahora hoy.
Gimnasio: Pecho y espalda hoy. Intenso.
Notas: Tarta de manzana de San Geraldo (una rebanada) después del almuerzo.

• What do you think? Loquat? [It’s a Bottle Tree (see text above).]
• ¿Qué opinas? ¿Níspero? [Es un árbol botella (ver texto arriba).]
• Definitely pomegranate. (Although I could be wrong about that, too.)
• Definitivamente granada. (Aunque yo también podría estar equivocado en eso).

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

20 thoughts on “Two roads diverged / Dos caminos se bifurcaban”

  1. You have utterly stumped me on that fruit (or pod or whatever it is). I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it. It’s definitely not a loquat, which are round and have just a few seeds. My plant app said “pear” (which is clearly wrong) and then “pomegranate” (also wrong, as you demonstrated). I hope someone figures it out.

    I’m not sure I’d like walking through that tunnel.

    1. Steve:
      I looked at some more photos of loquats and realized it couldn’t be that. A bunch of people are now sleuthing the tree, and my cousin suggested I check out “What’s this Plant” on Reddit. So, I signed up and sent the query with photos.

      Entering the tunnel did put me on edge. It was darker than it looks in the photo, too. But my eyes adjusted and I then saw that, although it’s not heavily trafficked, it’s still busy enough with walkers and cyclists to not make me feel at risk. Also, I could see both ends, there was no way to enter midway, and the highway was above. I gave thought to how to use my water bottle and keys as a weapons. So, yeah, I WAS stressed. But I wouldn’t give it a second thought next time. And this isn’t a town known for violent crime (although it happens everywhere).

    1. Mistress Borghese:
      Well, if a farmer is going to display his huge zucchini for all to see, why would I not look. Thanks to Persephone, we can eat all the pomegranate seeds we want. There’ll be winter no matter what we do.

  2. To me, the tunnel is scary, but doable as long as I can see all the way to the other end. Those fruits with the exposed seeds are very attractive! I have no idea what it could be, Definitely a pomegranate in the other photo. That big zucchini has a wicked curve!

    1. Wilma:
      The tunnel was darker than it looks when I first entered. But it wasn’t bad. Not the empty route I thought it was, although not busy. The tree is clearly not a loquat either. I’m waiting to see if I get an answer to my query on Reddit “What’s This Plant?”

  3. I have no idea what it may be. Check again just before harvest time.
    LOVE those overhead shots! A little disorienting at first but I like the angles and lines.

    1. Jim:
      Yeah, waiting for flowering and fruit would help. But I’ve posted on What’s This Plant and will see what I get.

    1. Sassybear:
      Our friend Lulu, Finnish, shared something that sums things up.
      How to make small talk with a Finn:
      1. Identify a Finn
      2. Smille at a Finn and walk away without speaking
      3. Understand that a Finn enjoyed your time together

  4. I like the walk, though the tunnel does look kinda rape-y.

    When we moved to Camden Carlos mentioned to some of our new friends how “country” it is, and one said, “Yeah, if it’s the kind of country we here people have million dollar hobbies like race horses and steeplechase horses.”

    1. Bob:
      The tunnel turned out to be fine, although I wouldn’t walk through at night. People use it as a shortcut to town from the “country,” so there were bicyclists and pedestrians, although not many.

    1. Yoli:
      My nephew sent me this last night and I had written it off because the trunk is so vertical and straight, but I just looked again and there are trees that don’t have the bulbous trunks. This could be it! Thanks!

  5. Interesting looking tunnel, Life begins just beyond our fears. Great Uncle John’s daughter was transferred by AT&T to someplace in New Jersey, and woke her father in the middle of the night in hysterics, she could hear a COW!!!!

    1. David:
      Oh, the joy for Great Uncle John’s daughter! In my family, that might have been terror. (Not for me though.) Did I ever mention that San Geraldo’s cow call is so real, he even fools the cows?

I love your comments.

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