Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Great Day At The 2008 Lotus Festival

It was a nice day to chill on a relatively muggy Summer Saturday in Echo Park at the 31st Lotus Festival. The Militant rode in on his bike and cleverly circumvented the traffic hassle that usually blossoms around the lake's perimeter annually.

What didn't blossom, as we all know, is the normally-flowering Lotus bed, the largest outside of Asia. Last year the Militant lamented its truncated bloom, but this year, not a single lotus hath flotus.

The City did, however, put up a little kiosk right by the short of the lotus bed area that explained this year's loss. Apparently an engineering and environmental consulting firm called Black and Veatch (be very careful mentioning that to people) was hired to find out what was going on, and they had posterboards bearing PowerPoint slides discussing the cuprit, and a planned, winter's-long process to get the lotuses back.

According to the display:

"Sediment accumulation has over-insulated the plant roots, keeping them too cool and resulting in decreased vigor of the plants...Sediment (metals) and water conditions (nutirents, pH and depth) may be reducing vigor...clonal population may be becoming senescent and losing vigor. likely no sexual reproduction (from seed) of new individuals."

So, basically, junk in the water has made them plants lose their mojo, and they need a prescription of some lotus viagra.

Well, the treatment won't quite go that way, it would involve collecting dormant rhizomes (stems), cultivating them outside the lake with a little T.L.C., cleaning up the lake and re-planting them by March. So hopefully, you can has lotus again next year (that is, if the Lotus Festival will go on next year...operative sources report to the Militant that due to City budget cuts, the event will go on hiatus in '09 and bring it back in 2010 (don't worry, it's happened before...)).

Lotus or not, the Militant still enjoyed himself, having him some Japanese yakisoba noodles and Hawaiian shave ice, as right during sundown, throngs of people settled in around the lake for a vantage point for the 9:00 p.m. fireworks show. With the Downtown Los Angeles skyline as the backdrop, and a half-moon hanging overhead, the crowd's second dose of July pyrotechnics shot up the lake courtesy of Pyro Spectaculars of Rialto and echo'ed about the namesake lake. Kinda like this:

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