I am getting down to my “lasts” as my São Paulo narrative winds down. Today is my last Sunday, so I went over to Ibirapuera Park, where I had walked on my first day here. I got there a lot faster, since I walked straighter route. It also seems less time spent when you are more familiar. Usually when I walk I listen to my audio books. This morning I just forgot. It was one of those “lost in thoughts” days. Not sure what I was usually thinking about, although I do have a few pictures to remind me.
One persistent thought was just the appreciation for the joy people were taking in their park. Ibirapuera Park is crowded with people walking, biking, talking and just hanging around. I recall not always being so happy with this sort of thing. When I used to run, I disliked the crowds that got in my way. I was probably a kind of running a-hole. Some like I used to be were out running today – too serious about finishing their workout. I tried to stay out of the way, but I know that I disturbed at least one run as a fit young man almost ran into me as I looked up at some pine trees.
My first picture is kind of a meta-picture, i.e. a picture of a guy taking a picture. next are some araucaria angustifolia, the Paraná pine. These are from southern Brazil, beautiful trees. They are not true pines, however. There are no true pines (genus pinus) extant in Brazil. Next picture shows pines (of course not the tree in the middle). I could not tell if they were loblolly. They kind of smelled like loblolly. Could be slash pine or even Monterrey pine (pinus radiata). I just am not so good at telling pines from each other. I often rely on geography for hints, i.e. if I see a pine in northern Arizona it is likely ponderosa, but here that does not work. I know they are not longleaf, since the cones are too small and the needles too short. I cannot dislike pines, but many Brazilian ecologists do. They are considered invasive here. They do grow well here. Monterrey pines grow much better in the Southern Hemisphere than they do in their native range. Next picture shows some runners and the park pond.
Went to the hypermarket to get my last week’s supply of Coke and beer. Lots of bike riders around. The other pictures are left over from the park visit, mentioned above.