Massive Flower

This morning I went to Irvine Chinese School’s graduation party, partly because Eric was performing and I wanted to watch (and I needed to help him draw on his fake mustache for the act), and partly because I’m still very much attached to this school. Although I graduated last year, these students that graduated this year were like our younger siblings in all the competitions we competed in back then. Watching them graduate was actually an unexpectedly sentimental experience, since I had very close relationships with many of them. I get a sinking feeling in the bottom of my stomach when I think of how much I miss all the times we shared together at Chinese school, with everyone in my grade and the younger and older ones, but I guess 天下真的没有不散的宴席…

But anyway, this post is about a flower. Well, rather, a tree. When I was leaving, my dad picked me up in the back of the parking lot, and as I was getting on, I saw a MASSIVE flower on a tree. I immediately got off and ran to it. At first I wasn’t even sure if it was a flower, since I had never ever seen one so large. I had to feel the petals to make sure, and indeed it was. It was bigger than my face! There were several on the tree, and since I was already late for a project meeting I hastily snapped a few pictures for my flower Instagram account @florabymo and left.

We worked on our project and filming for WHAP for almost seven hours (with a two hour buffet trip to Dada Shabu Shabu in the middle) and my mom picked me up from Irene’s house at about 11:30 p.m. When I got home, I realized I really wanted to show that flower to my mom, since I take after her in loving flowers so much. We decided to call my dad and brother too, and even though those two are usually pretty 宅男-ey and don’t want to come out (especially Eric…), I was very surprised when they both agreed to tag along. And thus, I got my whole entire family up and out of the house at midnight to go see a flower. And I loved every moment of it.

We got to Chinese school in about four minutes, and turned on our phone flashlights to see the flower in the dark. Sure enough, the lowest one on the tree that I had seen in the afternoon was still sitting there in all its massive glory. For some reason I thought it was creepy to see at night, but I think a lot of random things are creepy so we don’t have to pay much attention to that feeling. My family was extremely surprised, since they didn’t think it would be as big as it was. We took lots of pictures and attempted to depict the size accurately by placing different body parts next to it as reference, but as amazing as photography can be, I don’t think any of those pictures could truly compare to the surprise of actually seeing it. My mom also discovered that the two sides of the leaf are different colors! One side is a predicted deep green, and the other the shade of a wilting winter shrub. I did not notice that detail earlier and was so surprised by that too, in addition to the gigantic flowers. I love flowers and plants and I like to think I’ve seen a lot of them, but I have never seen a tree with different shades on the two sides of its leaves! Nor with that size of flowers, either. I was especially surprised because one side of the leaf looks like the middle of spring while the other is the epitome of winter.

My family agreed the spontaneous excursion was worth it, so I was content. So many surprises at 12 a.m. today! (pleasant)

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3 thoughts on “Massive Flower

  1. Hi Michellleee! first comment i’ve made on wordpress ever, and this is on a pretty old post, haha. but i was scrolling through and i just wanted to say – that tree is called the southern magnolia 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it’s most distinguishable by the glossy, broad dark green leaves, usually with short rusty hairs on the underside, the cone-like “fruit”, and ofc, the huge white flowers. there’s actually a lot of them at sierra vista, but they rarely flower during the school year so it’s easy to pass them unnoticed. sierra vista is also where i first identified them while studying forestry for science olympiad !

      Liked by 1 person

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