Three white Linnaea grandiflora flowers
Linnaea grandiflora (Glossy Abelia)

A large ornamental shrub that is rarely used in gardens. Photographed in Bogotá.

Sometimes my wife and I take long walks and photograph plants. Most Colombians are very friendly and it is not unusual for people to invite us to look at their backyard, or offer us seeds or cuttings, and give us more of this and more of that and before you know it we have to return home to unload. Yet, at the same time most commercial places will prevent you from taking photos of their property. It is kind of silly because anyone who wants to could easily do so surreptitiously. The security guards think they are actually providing security chasing you down for photographing a plant or your wife at the mall. Security guard must be the number one occupation in Colombia. Almost every place has one or more. You go to the mall, they check your purse, go to the movies, they check you for weapons, go to a parking lot, they check your car for explosives. The only time I don´t get searched is when I leave Colombia. For some reason U.S. Customs won´t search me.

Two white flowers on an Linnaea bush
A large blooming Linnaea grandiflora shrub