RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


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Feline Friday – #56 – what me worry?

frankie

We asked for rain in drought ridden Southern California… and we got it!

Our sump pump quit working… the plumbing company really screwed up… so we’re looking for a more reliable plumbing company licensed to work in Culver City.

In the meantime our garages were flooded… water came in ten feet past the garage door… I managed to move most of my stuff to the back of the garage out of harms way.

One of the neighbors bought a pump and no thanks to the plumbing company who were supposed to fix this problem last Tuesday, the water level is going down.

We are expecting more rain tonight. Then a break on Saturday. More rain on Sunday. If this doesn’t get us out of the drought, nothing ever will.

I have been worried silly about the garage flooding. But Frankie’s attitude is “What flood? I’m warm and dry, thank you. That’s all that matters.”

It’s a cat’s life.

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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My private island – part two

catalina island

As I mentioned in My private island – part one, we were experiencing May Gray when I embarked on my two-day birthday trip to Catalina Island. As I boarded the Catalina Express at 9:00am Monday morning, there was light rain.

I was hoping by the time we reached our destination the sun would be blazing away. No such luck. But although the weather was trying pretty hard to dampen my enthusiasm, I am happy to report it did not succeed!

The above photo was taken through the window about half way across. I didn’t feel like exposing myself to the elements that early in the morning. The photo says more than I can about the weather conditions.

catalina island

Walking along the beachfront Crescent Avenue visitors are immediately reminded about the severe drought on the island. A reservoir capacity of 1149 acre feet down to 183 acre feet. Maybe I should skip brushing my teeth? Of course the paradox is how can an island—by definition surrounded by water—be suffering from a lack of it? Something is definitely wrong with this picture.

catalina island

Catalina is famous for its tiles and don’t you just love this tile fountain on Crescent Avenue? This was the inspiration for my hand-painted tile “Catalina Cats.” You can see it here on my Hot Out of the Kiln blog.

https://hotoutofthekiln.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/catalina-cats/

Avalon Bay with the Carnival Imagination in port.

catalina island

As I was walking through town I came across this intriguing sign in a front yard. One can only imagine what this refers to!

catalina island

The colorful hibiscus certainly brightened up this dull day with a little sunshine of its own.

catalina island

On the walk out of town to the Wrigley Memorial these bougainvillea and palm trees stood out against the gray skies.

A long long time ago there was a bird aviary on Catalina. You can read about it here. Fortunately a lot of the original tile work remains.

The Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden is a 45-minute walk from town (up hill all the way). Once inside the gate it’s another ten minutes to the Memorial itself. But well worth the effort. Click on an image to start the slide show.

catalina island

With some limited exceptions, cars are not allowed on the island. Golf cart rentals are very popular and walking back from the Memorial I felt like I was on the freeway with a constant stream of golf carts buzzing by. I prefer to walk as I like to stop and look and take photos. Not to mention working off the fish and chips I ate for lunch!

catalina island

Catalina Island used to be full of cats. Probably because for decades the island was used as a dumping ground for unwanted feline pets. On this trip this was only cat I saw… and I doubt he was feral.

catalina island

My first day was winding down. With all the walking I did I was ready for the comfort of my hotel room.

catalina island

So while others were still enjoying the many activities available on the island, I headed back up the hill.

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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Peacocks prancing in the park

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

One of the reasons I love living in Los Angeles is access to all the parks and gardens. The Gold Line recently added six more stations, all the way to Azusa. One of those stations is Arcadia where the 127-acre Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is located. The free shuttle bus that stops at the mall, Santa Anita Race Track and The Arboretum now also stops at the train station.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Yesterday several explorer friends and I visited The Arboretum. Most of us met at Union Station in downtown LA for the trip on the Gold Line.

The Arboretum is known for its peacocks. They are VERY raucous and can be heard “meowing” throughout the park. The above photos are of the same peacock back and front. Both views are pretty impressive.  They are not shy about posing for the camera.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

The Arboretum is made up of small pocket gardens, sprawling lawns and water features. We decided to take the 2 1/2 hour docent-led tour

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

This wood creature was part of a temporary art exhibit but he looked very much at home.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

This is jacaranda season and the purple trees are showing off all over town.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

The garden, like everywhere else in Southern California, is suffering from the severe drought. But this “flowing” pond is made of stone and needs no water.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Can you find the hummer? Maybe not as impressive as the peacocks but certainly a sweetie.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

A giant lizard slithering across the path? No, just a peacock all folded up for travel.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Eucalyptus deglupta Mindanao gum showing off its rainbow bark.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

The pea hen is looking for lunch. The female has no need for extravagant opulence to attract a mate… there are plenty of males strutting around the premises.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

The Seed Saving Garden is dedicated to growing heirloom vegetables and herbs.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic GardenWe had several ideas about what these extraordinary giant flowers looked like, I thought of elephant ears.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Even the Arboretum is not free of exotic bugs!

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Effects of the drought on these trees.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

The once beautiful ponds are also ravaged by the drought.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

But this turtle family doesn’t seem to mind!

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

If you were a fan of the TV show Fantasy Island, you will recognize this Queen Anne cottage. It was where Tattoo rang the bell when visitors came to the island.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

There’s a lot more to the park but we were pretty tired and hungry after the tour so it was time to head out to lunch. We took the shuttle to the California Pizza Kitchen close by. I always order the Moroccan Spicy Chicken Salad at this restaurant chain… but I decided to be a little daring and ordered the Roasted Veggie Salad instead. That is now my new favorite.

Click on an image below to start the slide show.

The Arboretum even has its own song!

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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Spidies, dragonflies and lions

spider-pavilion-093015-034-C-750px

It’s that time of year again for the annual Spider Pavilion at the Natural History Museum. This year I was able to get the earliest time slot for my visit, 10:00am. Last year my slot was at 2:00pm (you can see that post here) and I wondered if a morning visit would be better.

los angeles county natural history museumAs it turns out I think the afternoon was a better time. It seemed like last year there were more and different kinds of spiders hanging out!

los angeles county natural history museum

I asked one of the guides and she mentioned that in the afternoon is when most of the spiders like to spend time repairing their webs and generally tidying up. In the morning they have just had breakfast.

I had intended to just pop in, say hello to the arachnids, then jump back on the train to go home as there were a lot of things I needed to work on.

los angeles county natural history museum

But once I was there anyway, I decided to wander through the Nature Garden. I am a member so (other than my $45 annual membership) I have free access to the museum.

I love spending time in the garden as there is something different to see with each visit.

This beautiful orange dragonfly (above) caught my attention.

los angeles county natural history museum

Then I saw this couple swooping crazily around the pond. They finally settled on this leaf to consummate their nuptials. Baby dragonflies coming soon?

los angeles county natural history museum

The original couple abandoned the leaf and moved on to a twig that was floating by.

Word got around and pretty soon another courting couple arrived. A dragonfly orgy.

I was using my 18 – 135 telephoto lens from afar and had to crop the photo down quite a bit so the quality is not that great.

los angeles county natural history museum

 

los angeles county natural history museum

You can see why I wanted to take a photo of this bush. Even with the dried up brown flowers it is still spectacular. And you may remember I was visiting Catalina Island recently. (See post here.) On this trip we didn’t go far enough inland to see any specimens. But now I know about it, I’ll be sure to look for it next time.

los angeles county natural history museum

I was very happy to see this fountain working again. On my last visit it was shut off and I was afraid it was a permanent situation because of the drought. But I see no reason why fountains with recycled water cannot continue to run. City birds (and other creatures) have come to rely on human-created water features. And I love to see water fountains myself.

california science center

Next door at the Exposition Park Rose Garden this normally exuberant fountain has been silenced while surrounded by well-watered, green lawns. What is wrong with this picture?

http://www.laparks.org/exporosegarden/rosegarden.htm

Meanwhile, back at the Natural History Museum, I wandered into the Gem and Mineral Hall. From the NHM website: The Gem and Mineral Hall displays more than 2,000 spectacular specimens within two large galleries that comprise what is considered to be one of the finest exhibits of gems and minerals in the world.

If you click on this link there is a good photo of the hall. My photo above is of the Quartz Crystal Ball, one of the largest flawless quartz crystal balls in the world at 10.9 inch (27.7 cm) diameter and weighing 65 lbs (29.5 kg).

los angeles county natural history museum

Photo of just one wall in the hall. Whenever I visit the museum I never miss the opportunity to see the gems and minerals. I never cease to be amazed at the different varieties and configurations.

los angeles county natural history museum

Some photographers travel thousands of miles at great expense to shoot pictures of wild beasts. I only have to swipe my TAP card on the Expo Line for a 20-minute ride to NHM! These black rhinos were kind enough to pose for me.

los angeles county natural history museum

And these African lions are having way too much fun.

The dioramas in the African Mammal Hall (and North American Mammals) have been maintained since the 1920s. I still have vivid memories of seeing them the first time I visited the museum in the 1960s (the first time my family moved to LA). Although exhibits like these probably wouldn’t be created today, they stand the test of time and I enjoy the opportunity to study the animals up close and personal.

At this point in time I was ready to go home.

And it so happens I’ll be back at the museum on Sunday meeting some friends for the Mummies Exhibit.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. 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!