Posts Tagged ‘dragonflies’

South Coast Botanic Garden is unusual in being one of the first botanical gardens developed over a sanitary landfill. Here’s a bit about the unique history from the website:

During the early 1900’s the Dicalite Company began mining diatomaceous earth, but at this time it was mostly surface mining. By 1929, open-pit mining was being pursued. In 1944 the mine was sold to the Great Lakes Carbon Company and mining began in earnest. By 1956, production of the mine declined and the site was sold to the County of Los Angeles. From the very beginning, the county planned to utilize the best possible technology and to reclaim the land for future use. In the meantime, the site was used as a sanitary landfill to help meet the County’s growing landfill needs.

In 1961, private citizens, headed by Frances Young, prevailed upon the County Board of Supervisors to convert this site into a botanic garden. It was an exciting experiment in sanitary landfill reclamation. In April 1961, the first major planting took place with over 40,000 donated trees, shrubs and other plants. Since then, our plant collection has significantly increased to more than 200,000 plants. From open pit mine to sanitary landfill to stupendous garden is the extraordinary history of South Coast Botanic Garden. This continuing experiment in land reclamation has drawn horticulturists from all over the world, including Prince Charles of England, to study the feasibility of similar project. The success of the reclamation effort is apparent in the peaceful, shady groves and areas of spectacular color.

I love that! Beauty from ashes.

However, there’s more to see than just plants. The Japanese garden first grabbed our attention. On one of the plants by the pool of koi was a bright red dragonfly! Although I took a few photos and got rather close, it didn’t move. The really bizarre thing was that when we came back two days later, it was there again in the same place! My husband was sure it was dead and leaned in close, only to have it fly away. We really laughed at that.

To compound our wonder, in a nearby area, we saw two more just like it. Evidently each tend to stay in the same section, although I’m not sure how you’d tell the difference. But who cares? They were brightly beautiful and unexpected.

Under a small bridge lurked this turtle. It’s always fun to spot turtles and they usually can’t get away before you get a photo unless they’re underwater already (water deeper than this) in which case they can be gone in no time at all. This one was content where it was. Maybe it thought we couldn’t see it.

Our last critter sighting was this squirrel perched on a trash can looking rather as if it were hoping we wouldn’t spot it. Maybe it didn’t want to be seen on a trash can. But it didn’t move even a little bit.

As God contains all good things, He must also contain a sense of playfulness — a gift he has shared with Creatures other than ourselves, as witness the tricks Crows play, and the sportiveness of Squirrels, and the frolicking of Kittens. ~Margaret Atwood

Although this has nothing to do with the photo, this quote is so true that I had to include it:

Let me tell you, if you have never seen an agitated squirrel you have seen very little, nor have you heard much, because the sound of an angry squirrel is not to be forgotten. ~Joe R. Lansdale

Six-Word Saturday 2.19.22

SquareOdds 2.19.22

Patti’s given us some beautiful examples of focusing on details and asked us to do the same. So as Jackie Gleason used to say, “And awaaay we go!”, first to Queen Creek Olive Mill where I saw these shadow details one day while sipping a mocha and reading.

I found alien details in our backyard.

But details don’t have to be small or macro. This garden on Coronado Island in California has a lot of beautiful details that add up to a stunning large picture.

for Six Word Saturday 9.19.20

Saturday we took another exploratory drive to Tucson, this time to the Sweetwater Wetlands, a 60-acre water treatment facility, urban wildlife habitat, and outdoor classroom. It’s similar to the Riparian Preserve, although smaller and with different flora. One feature that I quickly learned to appreciate in the desert is that it has trees.

There must have been thousands of dragonflies of all colors and sizes.

One of the most prominent features was the overwhelming number of cattails, most of which were 10′ or more in height. Much of the water area was home to these giants which, as you can imagine, provide perfect privacy for ducks and other creatures.

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Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragonfly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky. ~Dante Gabriel Rossetti

I suppose I should just leave it as is–a beautiful dragonfly and a lovely quote. But that dragonfly’s little head looks to me so much like that of a demented alien bent on taking over earth that I can’t resist mentioning it. And now you’re going to see it forever, too. (Demented laugh.) In this case, I was fortunate enough to escape its evil clutches. Happy Tuesday. 🙂