Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Arboretum Detour

Hey! Happy July! Can you believe it, already?
On the hottest day last week (over 100F), I was happy to go down to Santa Cruz for some kid related taxi service, where it is almost always much much cooler. I had a few hours all to myself so instead of going home to a hot house, I detoured up to UCSC (University of California, Santa Cruz) to visit the arboretum.

It was absolutely perfect up there. Very warm, but not too hot, a nice breeze, and only a few people walking around the arboretum pathways.

I was bummed to not have my camera, so these are all from my camera phone. Not too bad, but I would have loved some super closeups of all these unusual plants from around the world. But, I can of course, always go back can't I?
It is a pretty informal arboretum, the pathways are meandering, as opposed to straight/angular, and not terribly well-marked in some places, but it suits Santa Cruz very well. Plus it is huge, lots of room to spread out.
I don't recall visiting the Arboretum when I was a student here (for 2 years), I wonder what I would have thought of it back then?
I was trying to get a picture of the clouds in the sky that were reflected in the water. It was really beautiful. There are a lot of birds that hang out in the arboretum, so I'm sure they use this water feature frequently.

I loved this little statue tucked away under some big trees. It was very unusual, but somehow familiar.

Look at how those flowers glow, as if they've captured the sun itself. Some kind of lily perhaps? It was in the South African garden section I think.

This is Leucospermum cordifolium in case you're wondering, another protea.

This protea looks so much like an artichoke, doesn't it? I would love to do a screenprint of this flower. It would look great in all kinds of color combinations.

These reminded me of doll dresses. They would also make excellent, though tickly, earrings.

I really loved seeing so many orange flowers at once. Orange is a color that I find myself drawn to a lot these days.

This tree had a lot of character. She was very very smooth and cool, with a soft hardness that reminded me of a really muscular human leg.

I was watching this quail family for quite a while, then they decided I was a threat and scoobled off into the underbrush. They have such great camoflauge, can you even see them here?
Other animals I saw were tons of hummingbirds, many many lizards stretched out in the sun, and then really fun was a little bunch of rabbits. One of whom was doing something really strange, wish I'd taken a video of it. He kept running up to this flat stepping stone that was in the sun. Flopping on his belly, stretching out fully and then rolling from side to side, almost onto his back.. Then he'd sit up, look around, dart off into the bushes and dart back out on the stone, repeating the process. I was cracking up! There were several other bunnies watching him, probably wondering what the heck he was doing, just like I was. Animal comedians, gotta love it.

3 comments:

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

That's it.....I want to move back to California.....
I had forgotten how absolutely wonderful all the plant life is!!!
Beautiful photos---beautiful!

Lunaea said...

I think those are tiger lilies! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilium_columbianum

Suzie the Foodie said...

Look at all that orange everywhere! Beautiful. It's nice to know it's warm somewhere out there, LOL.

Just wanted to write and thank you for your comment. Wow, I had never thought of Temperance in that way, tempered by extremes to create strength. You have a beautiful voice of prophecy, thank you for that.