Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Non-Hike to the Huntington Library and Gardens

Well, this isn't a hike in the normal sense of the word, and I'm not counting it as such. But I did spend Sunday morning walking around the Huntington Library.
"The Hunting-ton" is in San Marino, although a lot of travel guides will insist it's in Pasadena. I've been a member for about two years, and have visited as a tourist about twice.
I've also visited it a few times as a volunteer, as they've had a couple of star parties there. It's a pretty large area, so, while far from dark, it's darker at night there than most parks, so I've actually had a lot of fun there.
Yet, because of my member-ship, I was feeling like I ought to go visit before the end of the year. So, with my Sunday recreation time budget limited (having done a major star part at Mount Wilson the night before), I figured a short walk around the gardens would be fine.

Trails crisscross the gardens, and I'm sure one could cover 4 miles by walking all of the trails. In my case, I'm going to guess I walked about two miles.
From the entrance, I walked through the Conservancy, then through the Chinese Garden, then above and around the Japanese Garden, then through some of the Australian plants, then the Desert garden. Then I came back across the main entrance, passing many statues along the way.

The Huntington has many art works and historical artifacts and manuscripts in its collection, but I usually come just to walk around the gardens. They're a great mixture of plants, and often have something in bloom or something changing color.
Of course, it being southern California, there's not a huge amount of fall color. The Japanese maples were still red, except for the ones whose leaves had burned. It's really too dry for those maples to do well here, unless you're able to shield them from afternoon sun.
There were also the ginko trees, which were somewhat yellow, but not colorful enough to make the final cut of photos here.

Lots of waterfalls, too. I'm not sure if maybe a few have been added in the Japanese garden section during the recent renovation.
The running water, refelcting pools, statuary near pools, and exotic plants make this a pretty relaxing place to be. Except, it being a public area, some members of the public are quieter than others. My time in the Zen garden was disturbed by a family of pre-teens, running around, shouting, and playing tag.

Yes, it's outdoors. And they're kids. But, really, in a Zen garden, you couldn't ask your kids to keep it down for a while?

My one reward for putting up with the screaming, running kids, was, about ten or fifteen minutes after the Zen garden, the were quieter and further away as I made my way past the giant bamboo.
And the inadvertently posed for a "forced perspective" shot. That's the picture two up, with the little kids waiting near a sign for their parents to catch up.

Of course, in the picture, you can't tell they're little kids, so they make the bamboo look taller and the path look longer than it actually is.

Spent about two hours walking around before heading back. Took something like 150 pictures in that time. Only a relative handful are here.
It's a great place to visit. Unfortunately, their hours are somewhat limited. For "normal" folks, it's 10:30am - 4:30pm. In the summer time, that's like four hours of daylight on either side of opening or closing that is "wasted."

Elite membership levels get to come in earlier.

Because of the limited hours, it's a little hard to get soft morning or evening light to photograph the park. And not a lot of backlighting, unless you're there as winter approaches, and the sun stays low.
>As a result, I was actually kind of psyched when I woke up on Sunday to a thick fog around my house. The fog was mostly burned off by the time the Huntington opened, but there was still enough moisture in the air to soften the light. That, and the low sun of late fall helped, I think.
I was really pleased with the results of this trip, and want to return again. The problem is that this will prevent me from going on a "real" hike. So we shall see.

In the meantime, I'm halfway through another busy work week. Haven't made firm plans for the weekend, at least not past Friday. I would like to take a longer hike, but I've got work-related stuff that might keep me from getting far in those plan.

No comments:

Post a Comment