After my quick hike at Silly Mountain, it was off to Boyce Thompson Arboretum (BTA), my original destination for the day off from work which I had decided at 3:30 the day before. I have my new camera and I bot some additional filters and lenses but for whatever reason, I didn't even think to bring the extras
Nonetheless, I had my camera and my new shoes in tow along with a Lunchable so it's off to the Arboretum I go. Driving in I saw snow on the northside of Picketpost
. Wow. The ticket/pass taker said there had been snow all around the area and they were surprised the snow was hanging on to the side of the mountain.
There were very few vehicles here on a weekday so Tonto and I were able to park up close. I had lunch in the atrium before making my way to what I call the "Autumn" area of the Arboretum which is along the creek across from the Herb Garden. As always I enjoyed the Australian section with the ginormous trees featuring "Mr. Big" (long before THE Mr. Big
) and the palm section with the just incredible Canary Island Palms. And then I saw the first tree that is magnificent when dressed in autumn color and thot, I missed it all
as it was nearly bare of leaves. Onward I walked taking movies along the way. The Ornamental Chinese Pistachios had some leaves on them and the little red berries were abundant but the autumn glow was M.I.A.
Also on the way there was this one family that apparently thot the Arboretum was their personal playground and they were quite loud so I hurriedly scampered away. As I got closer to the suspension bridge that takes you to the Highline trail, whoo hoo
was still remaining on a few of the trees. There was also this one very large pomegranate tree with big fruits on it that looked like Christmas ornaments. None of it was easy to catch with the camera but I tried.
But then THEY arrived so it was time to move on. I enjoyed my time along the creek and at the turn point to go up the hill I came across the area with the bench that had some fall color around it. I spotted a brilliant red cardinal but he was too fast for me today so I focused on trying to take a nice picture of the fall scene.
As always, walking up the hill opens up some beautiful vistas up and down the creek with some spots of autumn thrown in for good measure. There was one pistachio tree that was all berried now and since we were higher, its leaves were all gone. I knew Ayer Lake would offer me some additional autumn time so I headed there quickly as THEY were now starting to come up the hill too.
The reflections in Ayer Lake were superb
. I made two new friends as a Coot couple kept following me while I moved around the lake. It was the funniest thing. I walked around one side to the shore and they actually walked on the shore... one took a peck at me. And then when I walked over to the gazebo they paddled over there. I guess they thot I might have food. And then I walked back to the shoreline again. They seemed to want to come with me in spite of my warning about a nice hot oven
. I have it all on film http://youtu.be/H95P8Dv8GyI
Next up was the Cactus Garden. I so love this area as you weave your way in, up and around. Most of the cactus are doing well except the one cactus that I've had my eye on for a couple years seems to have not made it:( . I stopped by the Australian Seep that had just been put in the last time I was here. The Seep only flows after a rain storm. They also put in a labrinth. From there I made my way over to the Demonstration Garden.
And fortunately, the signature tree for the garden was still pretty well decked out in its fall colors. It's such a photographic scene. The rest of the garden was pretty much in winter stage and several of the plants had been covered to protect them. I sat for a moment in one of the two chairs at the southern side and admired the mighty Picketpost with the snow on its side. I thot, now these chairs are facing the right direction. Snakemarks would be pleased
Sadly it was time to head back home. I had a leisurely day off. My time was well spent; especially back at the Arboretum as this place re-energizes me with its feel, its smell and its look. Life is indeed GOOD!
It was definitely a video day (I am using the youtube stabilizer so sometimes the clarity of the foliage is lost but I think that's better than making one seasick):
Video 1 starting at the Outback Bridge, by Mr. Big and the palm tree section - http://youtu.be/bXazpMfxxtk
Video 2 from the fall section by the Suspension Bridge, along the creek to just before you start heading up the hill - http://youtu.be/S3UtsoTZtgw
Video 3 is up the hill, Ayer Lake and those crazy Coots - http://youtu.be/H95P8Dv8GyI
Video 4 is the first part of the Cactus Garden including the search for the cactus I've been watching grow - http://youtu.be/NxKAHbdDy9Y
Video 5 is the last of the Cactus Garden, the trip around the Australian Seep and finishing with the Demonstration Garden including the amazing Ash Tree - http://youtu.be/9rPBc8g9Un8