By Scott Shephard
Forgive me for both anthropomorphizing and feminizing this single date palm sitting contentedly on one of the beaches of the Great Salton Sea in southern California. Also, forgive the use of 6 syllable and a four syllable words in one sentence. I can't help it.
There is something happy and proper about this tree posing for me, though the Great Salton Sea is not a particularly happy story. It was once the playground of the rich and famous but is now dying and largely abandoned. Some sources refer to it as "post-apocalyptic." The water looks blue here but on closer look it is brown, brackish, polluted and malodorous (4 syllables!) If I've piqued your curiosity check out Wikipedia and/or watch the hour-long documentary made a few years ago (see below).
Oh, and how do you determine the gender of a date palm? Scientists are working on a simpler way but for now you 1)plant the tree, 2)wait 6 to 8 years and 3)see if it produces dates. If it does, its a girl.
As for this tree, I didn't take the time to take a peak underneath her, oops, its palm fronds.