Living in a fowl’s paradise
This is going to be a pleasant departure from the serious and windy post of last week, I promise. Mostly because I have had so much work that I have not had time to do much more than share some photographs I took at our beautiful Japanese Garden.
Spring is here and it is still February, can you believe that? Last week it was in the high 80sF. At least all this sun and warmth has been punctuated by some really nice downpours. Luckily, despite both of us being busy, we have made time to take some recreational trips around our area.
Last week’s and this week’s pictures are from a Japanese Garden that has been in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles for about the last 30 years. It was designed to replicate those in Japan by a landscape architect who has done most of the world’s famous Japanese Gardens, Dr. Koichi Kawana. This one is called Water & Fragrance/Suiho-En.
We find we absolutely have to break up the monotony of work, clean, eat, sleep, work, clean and grabbing the three Nikons (D800, D610 and D5200), we head out to find the nicest recreational areas the Southland has to offer. There are so many!
There are several important features of this particular place. For one thing, it is irrigated completely from reclaimed waste water, an ingenious idea of a city engineer, D.C. Tillman. So, throughout the garden there are ponds, streams, waterfalls, lakes — teeming with wildlife. And most importantly for me, it is a bird sanctuary, so every kind of wild bird is here. They have all the insects and fish and berries they need to thrive. Since the place is meticulously maintained, you would hardly know that all these animals live here, side by side. You saw some of them in my post last week.
I have found that the light makes all the difference to my photography. We visited the garden early in the morning and took pictures as we walked around for about three hours. I think the effects revealed in these shots are largely due to that beautiful day we had with both sun and a few clouds, and a crystal clear sky.
Amazingly, since this place is only 30 minutes from Valencia, almost none of the vegetation would survive in our area. Just being in a slightly different zone, you can have the incredible number of flowering plants you see here. In our area, they would fry. And of course, it would take a fortune to keep things watered in our desert environment. That is why the Tillman plant, beautifully integrated into the landscape and appointed with a viewing tower, a museum and boat slips, was so vital to the success of the project.
Nevertheless, we have tried to create something along these lines in our yard, but with plants native to the high desert. It seems to be working, except every so often we have a rogue frost at night with temperatures plunging below freezing and taking some of our precious greenery with it. Then we have to nurse the afflicted plant back to life. It usually takes six months, only to happen again, the next winter. Oh well. When I want to be humbled, I can run back here. There are gardeners and guards everywhere you look, so the place can stay beautiful, safe, and unspoiled.
Nothing much new around our house. We did all our renovations last year and this year we are just building up the xerigraphic areas of the yard, slowly eliminating lawn, although we probably have a little less drought to worry about with all the rain we have finally gotten. The most important thing is Northern California got snow sufficient to supply a normal water load.
I am having lunch with my MIL at her beach house today — it gives me an excuse to pick up one of those incredible Susie cakes nearby, so I may be a little late commenting and responding if anyone stops by and writes. Don’t worry about doing that — you are also welcome to just pop in and view a few shots. We are all so busy that it does make it hard to find time to do everything.
I am making a cardigan for one of my SILs (why did I take that on) so I have to hurry up and finish that before the weather gets too warm — I hate knitting in warm weather.
Next week I will put up some pictures from an exciting place near Ventura — now we cannot decide whether that, or Ventura itself will be our ultimate destination. Too much beauty, too many choices.
Anyway, no more politics until the election is over in November. I have said everything I have to say on the subject, so you needn’t fear!
Oh, and, my thoughtful husband is making me a perfume bar, so I can display my collection properly. I may put up a post about all my vintage scents. Some of them are on the verge of breaking the bank, but all of a sudden, they have become a passion. So, that will be in an upcoming post, plus, I think it’s time for another installment on the Un-y-moons, as the saga continues.
So, stay tuned and thank you for your patience with me! ❤
Images: Chez BeBe assets – Suiho-En — click to view them large