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📷 An Eye for Life: My Week Online 💜 #11

Thank you for joining me for the 11th issue of my weekly newsletter. I’m taking you to Los Angeles through the story of a tree and sharing intriguing things I found online this week. I hope you find it worth your time to read.

Purple Season
I’m still unsure of what I can share about the work I did in Napa Valley, so I’m taking a few minutes of your time this week to transport you to Los Angeles. I’ve called the city home since 2018.
When I moved here from New York, I knew the seasons would be different. Or even, non-existent in the sense in which I was used to growing up in New England and then the Midwest. There isn’t an autumn with cider, donuts, leaves crunching underfoot and layers of flannel. Unless you want there to be. You have to seek it out by driving a great distance from our home or visiting an entirely different part of California. There’s also not the same Spring I once knew, where crocus emerge as the last snow melts and you watch the ice disappear from the surface of ponds you were ice skating on just weeks before.
Intead, here in LA we have pink season. A foggy morning season. A season for searing heat that makes you want to hide. And one for shockingly cool temperatures just as elsewhere in the USA, friends are unpacking their summer clothes.
Right now, we are in Purple Season. AKA Jacaranda tree season.
Jacaranda in Beverly Hills from a morning walk this weekend
Jacaranda in Beverly Hills from a morning walk this weekend
All over the city, dense purple clouds sometimes obscure what should be leaves in trees along roads and in public parks. Carpets of fallen, bruised violet-tinted flowers obscure the jade blades of grass. I often feel I’m looking at a page from a Dr. Seuss book or a scene in a Disney movie. So appropriate for Hollywood, which isn’t far from where we live.
The sight is so beloved that there’s even a portion of Jacaranda in Santa Monica, from Wilshire to Colorado on 3rd, designated a city landmark.
Technically, there are 49 species of jacaranda trees, but it’s the Jacaranda mimosifolia, also known as the “blue jacaranda,” that is ubiquitous here. Like many things intrinsic to the city, jacarandas are not actually native to Los Angeles. The trees are indigenous to South America, originally found in the tropical and subtropical regions of Argentina and Brazil. In 1944, a scholar visiting from Chicago described “the immense clusters of violet blue flowers” in a scientific journal, explaining that an illustration of a Jacaranda mimosifolia flower on the facing page was “made from specimens collected in the environs of Los Angeles where this tree is widely grown for its beauty.” Have you ever heard a more L.A. thing? One can only imagine what those weary midwesterners must have thought of us, we Californians, who grew things just for their beauty. Vladimir Nabokov is said to have claimed that he could have lived in Los Angeles for the jacaranda trees alone. There were 148,530 jacaranda trees in the city, as of 2010. [source - with even more of the story]
For others, June is the start of Summer in earnest. For us, it’s now Purple Season. And I don’t mind that one bit!
Jacaranda I photographed up close so you can see the bell-like shape of the flowers.
Jacaranda I photographed up close so you can see the bell-like shape of the flowers.
Elsewhere online this week,
Peter Lindbergh + Paris + a dancer in b&w = I automatically swoon.
Kiara Kabukuru in Paris, 1997 © Peter Lindbergh
Kiara Kabukuru in Paris, 1997 © Peter Lindbergh
Press play in the video below [in Twitter] and virtually travel to Scotland. It’s not all coos and tartan and highland hills:
Edinburgh Spotlight
30 seconds of calm for you this morning. Taken before sunrise at Portobello

#Edinburgh https://t.co/i5fHNkisF4
Take a rainbow journey around the world and travel by colour with Small Luxury Hotels of the World!
What's New in Travel and/or Photography:
As the time for vacations comes again, here's why you should consider hiring a travel advisor to help you plan.
My friends at Boyne Boats in Ireland
ND filters are some of the most commonly used photography accessories out there for pros. But if you’re not yet a “Pro” - do you know what they are and what they do? If the answer is no, this video might help you:
all about ND filters in photography
all about ND filters in photography
Let's Care Together
about People: Get to know the USA’s first Indigenous Cabinet member, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland in this feature by Diné writer Allie Young. You could follow these LGBTQ+ Travel Influencers and these Black Women Photographers. This fundraiser for India is still running on Instagram and Facebook. Bookmark this Indigenous-owned and operated hot air balloon tour to book a ride when we can all finally visit Australia again. Test your knowledge of the world’s worst crises and donate to help. Use art from Amplifier and help spread the word about the importance of getting vaccinated. In addition to being about PRIDE, June in Canada is also #NationalIndigenousHistoryMonth and you could read one of the books on this list by First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people.
about the Planet: Subscribe with me to Tomorrow’s Air and let’s clean carbon from the atmosphere together. You could also plant your change, aka a tree, every time you swipe your credit or debit card. Though studies suggest planting trees is not all we need to do, it’s one thing we should be doing. Or sign up for the new zero carbon footprint credit card from Aspiration.
I'll leave you with,
Nayara Alto Atacama as I saw it when I visited
Nayara Alto Atacama as I saw it when I visited
Thank you for reading! I hope to see you back here next Friday for the twelfth edition of An Eye for Life. 💛 ✨
To let me know you enjoyed this, or anything else I create: you could share it with a friend, send me a tip, explore other ways to support, or send me a note by just hitting ‘reply’. I may not always be able to respond immediately but your replies mean the world to me!
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Kirsten
Kirsten @kirstenalana

Here to help you discover the work of creatives around the globe and ways you can help people + planet every other Friday morning. I also include notable online moments, photos and an original short essay.

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