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Old Feb 1, 2012, 11:45 PM   #1
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Default Los Angeles Arboretum

Last weekend I decided I wanted to go some place where I could take pretty pictures. Someone mentioned the LA County Arboretum, a place I haven't been to in many years. It's had a long history and is now owned by the county and maintained as a botanical garden. There are springs on the property, one of which was enlarged to make a lake. There are also areas that have plants from Africa, Australia, along with native oaks and other plants - a serene, beautiful location.

I'm going to break up my pictures into two threads - this first one deals with a few of the plants.

In the Africa section:



The botanical garden near where I work has some similar plants (agave of some sort???) and I've always been fascinated by them for some reason.

To give you an idea of how lovely the setting is for the garden, here's a more general view:



The San Gabriel Mountains are not far away.

The lake makes for some good reflections. This picture was taken by Dan with the K7, out of all the reflection shots (I took quite a few) I preferred this one, there's something about the little ripple that adds something in my opinion.



There's an artificial waterfall and above it a water plant garden.



1/10 sec is pushing it for me to hand-hold with a 35mm lens.

Even though it's January and supposedly winter, this is Southern California and there were things blooming. In this case it was various types of magnolias.

#1



#2



#3



There were other things blooming as well. Here's an Iris of some sort:



And some type of hibiscus, I think:



It's a lovely place to visit. And with so much water around a place that's otherwise quite arid (as you can tell from the mountains in the background), there are more than just flowers and plants. Tomorrow I'll do the second post, with the birds I happened to see.
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Old Feb 2, 2012, 8:31 PM   #2
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Great series - you did well and I look forward to seeing more.
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Old Feb 2, 2012, 11:38 PM   #3
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Wonderful detail here.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 6:30 AM   #4
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Lovely series! The last one is my favorite.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 11:12 AM   #5
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Fabulous series!

I particularly like Dan's lake and your waterfall. That said, those flower shots are really sharp, with the hibiscus being my favourite. Great composition and very sharp. Would make a superb poster for the wall. Looking again it made me think of a dancer/ballerina.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 3:57 PM   #6
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Thanks for the compliments! The hibiscus was taken from an unusual angle, not your normal flower picture and is also my personal favorite. The other flower pictures are good, and I thought they came out very nicely when you consider trying to photograph white flowers (exposure is problematic).

I tried a couple of slower shutter speed photos of the waterfall, but got camera shake at 1/6 sec. I was actually surprised that this 1/10 of a second picture came out well - I'm not steady enough to be able to count on a 1/f-stop picture being without shake any more (that used to be easy!). I had a good day.

Tomorrow I'm planning on visiting the Huntington Library, which (among other things) is known for its gardens and is located not all that far from the arboretum. It'll be fun to compare the two.
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Old Feb 4, 2012, 9:14 AM   #7
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Excellent shots, mtngal! As you probably know, this place was heavily damaged by a wind storm in December. They lost over 200 trees and over 700 were damaged. They were closed for nearly a month for restoration. I'm so glad that they are back to their full glory! Like your bird series, you've done a wonderful job to show the beauty of the place.
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Old Feb 4, 2012, 9:35 PM   #8
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I noticed quite a few trees that had lost large limbs, and at least one big pile of wood, perhaps an entire cut-up old tree. I didn't make it over to the oaks, I suspect there was quite a bit of damage there. There were a bunch of arborists there the day we went, collecting ropes and saws, then climbing trees to trim additional damaged limbs.

We went to the Huntington Library today. I don't think they had as much damage - while I saw signs of trimming, I didn't see as many huge trees with limbs cut off (I did see some). Perhaps it was just the part of the gardens I saw (too big of a place to see all in one day). Both Dan and I had a great time and we'll go back again.
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Old Feb 4, 2012, 9:41 PM   #9
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There are so many lovely photos here I couldn't pick a favorite if I tried. Especially at this time of year, when I haven't seen a sprig of green growth for several months, and it will be several more months before we see anything resembling spring, photos like these are especially uplifting. The San Gabriel mountains look gorgeous -- I want to hike the trail that's visible on the ridge in the distance. I love how one side of the ridge is heavily vegetated, and the other side appears almost bare.
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Old Feb 4, 2012, 10:29 PM   #10
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What you see going up the ridge is a fire-break, not a trail, though one trail I can think of did follow a fire-break for a while. When I was growing up all of the ridges had breaks cut in them and they were maintained. They pretty much let them grow back to their natural state at least 20 years ago or more, so while they were still visible, they weren't bare any more. Part of that one looks like it was cleaned out, perhaps during the Station Fire several years ago. But it is fun to hike in those mountains, I used to know most of the major trails in that area.

It's funny how my interests and activities have changed over the years. 15 years ago I lived not far from the LA Arboretum and spent most of my free time somewhere in the mountains, never visiting these types of places. Dan finally got tired of traveling up there every weekend, so we moved to the mountains. Now I'm finding that places like the Arboretum and the Huntington Library are fascinating and instead of spending my weekends hiking some national forest trail, I'm finding I enjoy a stroll through these large urban botanical gardens. So once again we're traveling distances on the weekend. Go figure...
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