Monday, December 28, 2015

Hike 2015.095 -- Los Angeles County Arboretum

Hiked Tuesday, December 15. Had a short day at work, but, with traffic, wound up with only a few hours to try to squeeze short hike in. So, given my newly-joined member status here, decided to return to the Arboretum for the second time in as many weeks. However, it turned out this was the third Tuesday of the month, which is always free, anyway.

The arboretum closes at 4:30pm. I was wondering if that was a hard closure or a soft closure. In other words, do I need to be out by 4:30pm, or do I need to be heading towards the exit by 4:30pm? Turns out, it's the latter, both at the Arboretum and at the Huntington Library and Gardens, which I hiked a few days later (again).
The main difference between this trip and the previous one is probably the peacocks. My wife commented on my lack of peacocks, which are one of the arboretum's bigger attraction. So I made a point of getting some shots of a few, and got a couple that were worthy of being shared.

Overall, I was more in "walking" mode, and less in "photography" mode. Doesn't mean I didn't get a lot of pictures, anyway. But, mainly, it was about trying to make sure I got my 3 miles+ in before getting kicked out.
In addition to the peakcock, I also ran across a few more sculptures I found interesting. This one here was based on the Joni Mitchell song about paving paradise. It only becomes obvious after you look at the little "ticket" carved into the top of the tree stump on which the woman is standing.

The next one was at one end of the "Serpent Trail," which obviously weaves through a small section of the park. It's also kind of neat, as the trail just looks like a trail, but it's also designed to have bits of scales and what not along the way, to look more snake-like.
Also, you had to walk to a short dead end of the trail to discover that the one end was a snake's head. There is no obvious tail at the other end, however.
Something else I learned was the name of the tree that produces those crazy red or pink "flowers." They're huge, pretty, and very common around Los Angles, and now I know their name: Silk Floss Tree.

As noted previously, I got there late, and the sun was rapidly setting. Of course, for me, that's a plus: nice, soft, red-tinted light, long shadows, lots of texture to the flowers and leaves. It's the same with my previous visit here and to the Huntington, and my next one, as well.
Kept walking fast and snapping pictures, and no one told me to leave, even as 4:30 approached. Still, I started my way towards the exit, Snapped some nice shots of the fountain and mountains.
After i exited, i continued shooting across the fountain at the entrance, at some Canada geese. The photos came out okay, but weren't very interesting.
They did have the benefit of giving me a bit more exercise, however.

After the shots across the front fountain, I made my way into the parking area, near my car, and noticed a number of peacocks, walking around a street that was across Baldwin Avenue from the Arboretum.
I observed that these nearby streets must really get a lot of peacock traffic. And I suspected that local coyotes must also come down into those streets to hunt those peacock. Must get pretty noisy down there.

Anyway, I'm calling it three miles, though I may have walked a bit more, criss-crossing my steps, to cover more ground and get my step count up. Not a bad way to end a day, though a lot more manicured than most places I hike.

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