“PLEASE Eat the Jacarandas!”

The jacarandas trees are in bloom in Riverside and, according to Robert Filiar, a forester for Riverside’s Public Works Department,

John O’Hara, at Jerry L. Pettis Memorial VA Medical Center, inspects a pipe, part of the defense against jacaranda blooms.

account for at least 4,000 of the 115,000 street trees. They bloom in the spring, with several thousand of beautiful tiny purple flowers. These tiny flowers last for two or three days, then fall to the ground, in gutters, ponds and swimming pools, creating thick carpets of lavender-and havoc for the city.

So what’s this got to do with Muffin Monsters? According to its maintenance operators, there are ten jacaranda trees that bloom near the eight duck ponds on the grounds of the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial VA Medical Center in Loma Linda. These ponds also double as a source of irrigation water for the VA’s grounds. Crewman work full time skimming the ponds to keep these flowers from floating from pond to pond and clogging the water filters.

What flowers escape the skimmer are chewed up by a Muffin Monster in an underground bunker, the VA’s last line of defense to keep jacaranda flowers from clogging its water filter.

Read more on Riverside’s jacaranda plight.