One Good Life in Los Angeles

Roslyn's observations about places and events around Southern California


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Thundery Sunday at the Huntington Library and Gardens

Huntington Library Gardens

Four of us brave souls called the weather gods’ bluff and despite a forecast for rain, thunder and lightning made the trip out to the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino, depending on the route you take, less than 25 miles from Culver City. When I go by myself I take the train and my feet but this day we drove.

Huntington Library Gardens

Since my last visit a couple of years ago they have installed a whole new garden near the entrance. And they have upgraded the dining options, always a good thing!

Huntington Library Gardens

No matter how many times I visit the Huntington, I always leave wanting more, looking forward to the next trip out there.

Huntington Library Gardens

We pretty much managed to avoid the rain until the very end. As we were sitting in the restaurant for lunch, the heavens opened up and provided us with some great thunder and lightning entertainment. When lunch was over, so was the rain. It’s all in the timing.Huntington Library Gardens

One of the cool temporary exhibits is the Orbit Pavilion… a sound experience that allows you to listen to the movement of NASA’s earth science satellites as they pass across the sky above you.

Huntington Library Gardens

This structure captures the sounds as you stand inside.

I wonder, as we are listening to them, are they listening to us?

Huntington Library Gardens

When I came up on this scene I wondered what all the baby bunnies were doing hanging out on the lawn with the geese. New glasses, Roslyn! These are goslings under the care of two napping grownups… yes, I imagine looking after all these cute little guys would be quite exhausting.

As you know from posts about my previous visits, I’ve taken gazillions of photos at the Gardens. I just enjoy wandering around shooting whatever takes my fancy. So here are a gazillion more random photos:

One last stop at the Conservatory and as we emerged, the rain started up. We took cover hoping the storm would pass but it was relentless.

Huntington Library Gardens

We gave up and made a run for the parking lot. We got soaked but at least we didn’t have to take the bus… we could be soggy all the way home in the comfort of our car!

Visit my other posts about the Huntington Library and Gardens:

https://onegoodlife.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/in-hot-water-at-the-huntington-library/

https://onegoodlife.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/thirsty-afternoon-in-the-desert-garden-at-the-huntington-library/

https://onegoodlife.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/reflections-in-a-pond-and-art-gallery/

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Roses get their close-ups

roses

I was visiting the Natural History Museum nature gardens last week to take a few photos with my macro lens. I’ve had the lens for a while but I don’t use it very often. So I decided to force myself to take photos with only that lens. Although I was enjoying doing that my attention was drawn to the rainbow of colors next door at the Exposition Park Rose Garden.

rose garden

Probably because of the heavy rains we have experienced after years of drought, the roses are apparently blooming early. The garden was a gorgeous sight to behold.

rose garden

The best estimate I can find is there are 200,000 bushes and over 200 varieties of roses in the 7-acre garden.

rose garden

The Rose Garden is next door to the Natural History Museum, in front of the California Science Center and across the Expo Line railway tracks from the University of Southern California.

rose garden

And it’s a short Expo Line trip from Culver City. Walk across the tracks from the station and you are there!

rose garden

It was such a beautiful April day in LA and I was grateful to be alive!

rose garden

Please click on an image below for slide show.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Out of the garage: Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

antelope valley poppy reserve

On Sunday my friend B and I ventured out to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. Because this rain season in Southern California has brought us more of the wet stuff than we have seen in years, ending our seven-year drought, we assumed the poppy fields would be spectacular. There was a nice display but nothing like the blankets of orange we had experienced the last time we visited… back in 2003.

I painted the tile above from photos of that trip and it is still one of my favorites. It greets me when I come in my front door. Of course my late cat, Friday, wasn’t really there but I painted him anyway as my signature!

antelope valley poppies

Nevertheless, we enjoyed the trip. I had Cinnamon Girl, my fifteen-year-old Subaru Outback, tuned up in February and she was raring to take on the 180-mile round trip. I felt a slight hesitancy on the uphill on the way there. But coming back she took those hills at 75 MPH (120 km) without blinking. I know she was happy to get out of the garage and feel the wind whipping around her. I hope she lasts at least another fifteen years!

antelope valley poppies

B and I were also happy to be out of the city and in the open spaces with the wind attempting to blow our hats off.

antelope valley poppies

B mentioned the difference a week makes as last Sunday we were in downtown Los Angeles visiting Little Tokyo. I need to upload that blog post!

antelope valley poppies

The poppy fields were crowded with people. The last half mile was stop and go… worse than traffic on a Friday evening on the 405 freeway! But I was expecting it so I didn’t mind.

antelope valley poppies

Just being able to see for miles with no buildings or cars was worth the trip!

antelope valley poppies

Windmills in the distance providing alternative power sources.

Unfortunately, despite warnings to stay on the paths, we saw too many people trampling the wildflowers to obtain those important selfies. Aaargh…. PEOPLE!!! Evidently the rules don’t apply to everybody. Way to go, parents, training your kids to selfishly satisfy your own desires and spoil the experience for everybody else…

antelope valley poppies

We were glad we made the effort. We rewarded ourselves with dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant back in Culver City!

A great day!

Please click on any image below for slide show.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 


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Feline Friday – #49 – a surprise in the Christmas Cactus

pharoah christmas cactus

When I walked out on my front balcony at first I thought my Christmas Cactus was blooming early this year. But no, it was Pharoah trying to disguise himself as a plant. It was a pretty good job, don’t you think?

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 


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Laguna Beach “week-long” one-day trip

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach, located in Orange County, is about 60 miles and two hours from Culver City. My friend Maria Kurtz has some of her beautiful paintings hanging at the Quorum Art Gallery on the historic gallery row. She needed to check in on Wednesday so I went along for the ride. Her husband did the driving so that was perfect for me!
Laguna Beach

As we walked back to the car we passed this store with colorful pots.

Laguna Beach Laguna Beach

After visiting the gallery we ate lunch in the outdoor patio at GG’s Bistro. As I enjoyed my seafood salad (calamari, salmon, shrimp) I was reminded of my trip to Italy some years previously. I was so relaxed I was feeling like I was on vacation in some exotic location instead of a short drive on the 405 freeway.

Laguna Beach

Like every other area in Southern California, Laguna Beach is getting to the point where there are too many houses, too many people and too much traffic.

Laguna Beach

After lunch we went for a walk along the beachside park.

Laguna Beach

Of course I couldn’t stop taking photos.

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach

The prickly pear cactus were enjoying the ocean view. And their flowers were showing off too.

Laguna Beach

It was a spectacular April day in Southern California.

Laguna Beach

As we were walking along I kept using the word “amazing.”

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach is known for its artist community. You can understand the attraction when you see the marvelous views.

Laguna Beach

Some of the views reminded of my visit to the Oregon Coast last year.

Laguna Beach

I love the ocean and can’t enough of it. For the most part I’ve always lived a short distance from the sea. I just need to know I can get there quickly when I need an ocean fix!

Laguna Beach

Tourism is the primary industry with approximately three million people visiting annually.

Laguna Beach

Laguna is famous for the Pageant of the Masters, Festival of the Arts, Sawdust Art Festival, Art-A-Fair, all of which I have attended over the years.

Laguna Beach

According to Wikipedia “The scenic beauty of the isolated coastline and hills attracted plein-air painters in the early 1900s. William Wendt, Frank Cuprien, and Edgar Payne among others settled there and formed the Laguna Beach Art Association.”

Laguna Beach

Laguna’s coastline is 7 mi (11 km) long and includes 27 beaches and coves.

Laguna Beach

I could imagine sitting here for a few hours absorbing the view. Well, not really as I can’t sit still for very long!

Laguna Beach

If I was on a longer visit I wouldn’t mind joining that couple out on the rocks feeling the surf breaking.

Laguna Beach

How lucky am I to have the opportunity to visit all these beautiful places!
Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach was the southern California epicenter of ‘alternative’ culture in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Timothy Leary lived here.

Laguna Beach

A reminder that what we do inland goes into the storm drains and affects the ocean.

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach has a mild Mediterranean climate with abundant sunshine all year. Succulents love living here!

Laguna Beach has a mild Mediterranean climate with abundant sunshine all year.

Laguna Beach has a history of environmental stewardship and historic preservation. Laguna Beach is the only Orange County city protected by a dedicated greenbelt inland and bluebelt seaward.

Laguna Beach

Click on one of the photos below for a slide show of way too many photos!!!

I wish there was a Magic Carpet that would take me back here some day soon. But unfortunately as far as I can figure out I will have to drive the 405 freeway. I’ve done the drive before. The last time another driver took out my rear bumper. But I don’t hold that against Laguna Beach!

Although we had only been there a few hours on one day, on the way home I felt like I had been on a week-long cruise through the Mediterranean.

A big thank you to Wikipedia for the information.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 


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Soaked to the skin for my geraniums

geraniums

Been a while… well over a month since I posted on my blog. Needed to take a break. I have to give credit to people who post every day or even every week on a regular basis for years. But that’s not me. I will get back to visiting your blogs and posting comments.

geraniums

Maybe ten days ago we had a rainstorm. Probably the last of the season even though we desperately need more. I decided to walk up to Trader Joes. It started to rain but I thought how bad could it be? I love walking in the rain…

geraniums

Ha ha ha. Halfway there it was raining nails. I took refuge in a doorway but realized it wasn’t going to get any better. So I walked on.

geraniums

The streets turned into rivers. I was already swamped to my underwear.

geraniums

So I bought my items at TJs. The cashier told me he couldn’t use my bags as they were drenched. I told him, no big deal as they would get even more soaked on my walk home. “You WALKED here?” Yep!

geraniums

And on the walk home my bags did indeed get full of water.

geraniums

I had to strip off all my clothes in my entryway when I got home. Half an hour later the rain stopped and the sun came out. Oh well.

geraniums

But my geraniums appreciated the rain and for the past few days they have given me a magnificent show on my roof deck.

geraniums

I took these photos with my point & shoot camera. My next post will be of the individual geraniums.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Feline Friday – #37 – Christmas cactus

Freddie and Christmas cactus

I have two Christmas cactus plants on my front balcony. One is dark pink as in the photo and the other a pale pink.

FF-and-Xmas-cactus-121215-4632-C-600px

The first plant to bloom was the dark pink. The end of last year it was the most prolific in all the years I have had it. So I decided to take a few photos before it faded.

FF-and-Xmas-cactus-121215-4675-C-600px

A few seconds later, guess who showed up. Yes, Freddie, of course who has to be the star every time I take out my camera!

FF-and-Xmas-cactus-121215-4709-C-600px

Needless to say, I didn’t get too many shots of the cactus.

FF-and-Xmas-cactus-121215-4733-C-600px

The beginning of this year the light pink cactus came into bloom and was also the most gorgeous I have ever seen it. Unfortunately I did not have a chance to photograph it but above are the buds showing their promise.

Freddie and Christmas cactus

That’s okay… we all know Freddie is far more beautiful than any old plant!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 


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December on the Venice Canals – part two

venice canals

The second half of my walk through the Venice Canals. Most tourists coming to Venice never see the canals. And truthfully, they are more interested in seeing Venice Beach that they have heard so much about.

Venice Canals

The two areas could not be more different although they were once both part of Abbot Kinney’s idea to emulate Venice, Italy on the shores of Los Angeles in the early 1900s. I’ll write more about the history in another post.

Whereas the canals are very serene and peaceful, the Venice Beach boardwalk is like a circus. I’ll have photos of that area in another post.

Venice Canals

For walking I really prefer the quietude of the canals.

Venice Canals

And stopping to look at the details.

Venice Canals

Oh, those reflections!

Venice Canals

And ducks.

Venice Canals

I’ll be sorry when the holiday decorations come down.

Venice Canals

But even without the decorations the canals are never less than picturesque.

Venice Canals

This cat was very curious about my shoe. Perhaps he could smell some other felines I know.

Venice Canals

Although there are many cats strolling around the canals, ducks rule!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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December on the Venice Canals – part one

venice canals

In December I made several trips to the Venice Canals and Venice Beach for a walking tour I was working on.

venice canals

I was happy to see some people had their Christmas decorations up.

venice canals

And unlike my visit in June when it was dark and dismal and the canal was in the process of being dredged (see post here), the sun was out and everything was looking cheery.

venice canals

This ladybug was having a good day too!

venice canals

Even Yoda and Darth Veda were in the holiday spirit!

venice-121615-015-C-700px

venice canals

But I wasn’t too sure about these two snowy egrets!

venice canals

However, this fella seemed to be enjoying the sunshine.

venice canals

One of the things I appreciate about the canals as a photographer is all the reflections… and the juxtaposition of the boats.

venice canals

And the variety of architecture is always fun to photograph.

venice canals

Giant candy canes growing right out of the bushes.

venice canals

Too bad we can’t have holiday decorations all year round.

venice canals

But we do have snowy egrets posing for the camera in every season.

venice canals

It wouldn’t be Christmas without the poinsettias.

venice-121615-059-C-700px

venice canals

Don’t mess with the ducks… the residents of the canals are especially protective of them.

venice canals

This palm tree could use a trim. They need to be manicured on a regular basis or the fronds will drop in the wind.

I wrote the names of my cats on a scrap of paper and left it on this pet tree.

venice canals

venice canals

I’ll be posting more random photos from my December visit from time to time.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Post Rose Parade Floats: Downton Abbey to Disney to Dragons

post rose parade floats

First of all I want to apologize for being so behind with my postings and for not being able to address your comments and visit your blogs. I have projects I have to work on but I will catch up soon, I promise!

Okay…. Yesterday I watched the Rose Parade twice. It was the last time Stephanie Edwards and Bob Eubanks were hosting the parade for KTLA TV in Los Angeles. Sad to see them go, but as they said, it was their choice to go out on top.

post rose parade floats

I’ve seen the parade in person twice many years ago. It’s a lovely thing to do with the bands and horses but the floats go by yards away and you can’t see all the details.

post rose parade floats

Three years ago I viewed the Post Parade floats and enjoyed seeing them up close and personal. Click here to see that post.

post rose parade floats

So this year I organized a trip for some friends. We were a group of ten. I was really happy that so many people wanted to go.

post rose parade floats

I took about a billion photos. The images I chose to post here were totally arbitrary and admittedly way too many. So forgive me.

post rose parade floats

You have to remember as you look at these photos that everything has to be from the plant kingdom. Flowers, seeds, leaves, beans, grasses, bark, fruit, vegetables… you name it.

post rose parade floats

No, you can’t use feathers so these wings are made of some kind of vegetation.

post rose parade floats

I don’t know how many gazillions of people show up to view the floats. They say it amounts to tens of thousands. This shot was taken on the way out and you can see a bazillion people still coming in way way way way up on the hill.

post rose parade floats

It was a good thing we arrived about ten in the morning before the serious crowds arrived.

post rose parade floats

There are two and a half miles of floats. And it takes over two hours to look at everything.

post rose parade floats

Fortunately it’s really well organized.

post rose parade floats

The weather was spectacular. Look how clear the mountains are. One of my friends commented he expected to see a dusting of snow. But there was none. However, next week we are expecting rain in the city which should mean snow on the mountains.

post rose parade floats

I pretty much took off on my own and lost sight of the group. It’s easier for me to take photos that way.

post rose parade floats

I think people are used to that by now!

post rose parade floats

It’s hard to expect people to go at my speed when I keep stopping to take photos. Oh wait, I have to take a picture of that!

post rose parade floats

I believe photographers see things other people don’t. And find significance in insignificant things.

rose-parade-floats-010216-198-C-700px

On some of the floats I couldn’t help taking several pictures at different angles. Other floats I skipped completely. Not because i didn’t find them worthy but sometimes the crowds of people blocked my view and other times I just got tired. Nothing personal!

post rose parade floats

Also in some situations that pesky sun was just in the wrong place. Of course, later in the morning when the sun was overhead it became almost impossible to take a shot.

post rose parade floats

But I feel like the photos I was able to take are representative of the floats.

post rose parade floats

I am just plain impressed with this art form where anything seems to be possible.

post rose parade floats

As I wanted to get these photos posted as soon as possible, I didn’t have time to do a lot of post processing so many are as they came out of the camera and many have very little basic processing.

post rose parade floats

I have to say what really annoyed me was the photographers trying to take “artsy” photos. They were adjusting the aperture or shutter speed or angle or whatever, hogging their particular space so nobody else could take a photo. Get over it! If you want to be an artist then arrive really early in the morning to take your award-winning shots!

post rose parade floats

I was being courteous by taking my snapshot and moving on. This is not the place for Ansel Adams!

post rose parade floats

I think I got some pretty good photos that give people the general idea.

post rose parade floats

Enough of that!

In the US we are coming up on the final season of Downton Abbey in 2016. So it was really nice to see a representation of Highclere Castle where it is filmed. It was certainly a popular float:

As usual most of us arrived by public transportation. I walked 25 minutes to the Culver City station, took the Expo Line to the Red Line to the Gold Line. There was a free Metro bus shuttle from the Sierra Madre Villa station to the float viewing. The whole trip took a little over two hours.

post rose parade floats

I love public transportation and especially riding on the train.

post rose parade floats

After the float viewing we took the shuttle back to the train station.

post rose parade floatsFrom there we had a six-minute walk to the original Panda Inn for lunch.

I don’t know how wide-spread Panda Express is, but this is original sit down restaurant that also owns the Express venues. I always wanted to eat at this restaurant so I can check that off my bucket list now. They served a lot of food… but that was no problem for me. I ordered the garlic shrimp and ate every morsel.

Of course, I neglected to take photos.

Anyway, here are the rest of the way too many photos for your enjoyment. Click on any image to start the slideshow:

Hopefully next week, after I am done successfully with some events, I will be back on track with my blogging duties and responsibilities! Thanks for hanging in there!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!