2016 Jan 30-Feb 1 – Days 20, 21 & 22 – California and Beyond

Days 20, 21 & 22 – January 30, 31 and February 1 – Carlsbad, CA – Days 15, 16 & 17

Saturday, Jan 30, we spent the day visiting with our friends Bill & Lynn who we met on the World Cruise in 2009.  They live in Yorba Linda, a southeastern area of LA.  They kindly drove the one hour down to Carlsbad to have lunch with us.  I whipped up a wonderfully complicated and exotic chicken ceasar salad (well, actually John grilled the chicken, but who’s keeping tabs?) with garlic bread and chocolate ice cream and peanuts for dessert.  We were having such a good time no one noticed it was already five o’clock and they had to head home.  Right after they drove away I remembered I had wanted to take a photo and had forgotten.  Lynn, too, had specifically brought along her camera to get a pic of us and forgotten.  We have each promised to a get snap done in the next week or so and send it to each other.  So, if you want to see Bill and Lynn you will need to wait awhile.  It was wonderful to see them again.  Maybe they will come north some summer and we can show them some of our hometown sites.

Sunday we intended to go back to Christ Presbyterian Church for the 11 am service, but I hadn’t been sleeping well all week and Saturday night I slept through until 10:30 am Sunday.  It felt great to have a good sleep but with the church 20 minutes drive away and us not even up it wasn’t going to happen.  I was sorry to miss the minister’s sermon on his ‘word’ for 2016 and it would have been nice to chat again with some of the people we met last week.

Sunday was also a lousy weather day.  There were 60 mph winds predicted with rain – lots of rain, and snow in the high mountains. The wind blew steadily all day with a constant howl outside.  There was heavy rainfall all afternoon so the plants and ground will be happy.  Everything is very dry here, they really need rain.  It did not appear to be a deluge, at least not at our place, so hopefully the water will sink in and not just run off into floods such as they had earlier.

IMG_5216 IMG_5219 IMG_5218Monday was supposed to be a cloudy day but it was really quite a nice one.  Since the sun was shining when we finished breakfast, dishes, email, etc. we decided to drive south to Encinitas and see the San Diego Botanic Garden.  IMG_5220

Last night’s wind blew leaves and twigs all over. The maintenance staff at the resort will be very busy cleaning it all up over the next few days.

We spent most of the afternoon wandering the pathways of the botanical garden.  So what follows from here is pretty much a hundred or so photos of cacti, trees, flowers, and landscapes.  Skip to the end if you want.

IMG_5588 IMG_5221 A ‘living’ roof and plants on the walls of the entrance ticket booth.  IMG_5594IMG_5589IMG_5224 IMG_5225 IMG_5226 The garden covers 37 acres and has sections for international plants that are suitable for this climactic zone.  We had a really nice wander.

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IMG_5233 IMG_5230 IMG_5232 IMG_5234 IMG_5236 IMG_5237 IMG_5238 IMG_5241 IMG_5244 Dragon Tree.  The sap is red and is used to dye violins.

IMG_5251 IMG_5255Giant Timber Bamboo.  Bamboo comes in clumping-root or runner-root types.  Most of the varieties in the garden are clumping root. Runner roots can grow 30′ in a season so it is very hard to contain or get rid of if unwanted.  There are several thousand species of bamboo and some of them are hard to classify because they only bloom once every 10, 15, or 20 years – or as some do, 150 years.  Many species will die off after blooming.
IMG_5257 IMG_5258 IMG_5259 IMG_5260 IMG_5261 IMG_5276 Honey Mandarin. Produces very flavorful and sweet fruit but also produces many seeds so is not popular commercially.IMG_5277 IMG_5274IMG_5289 IMG_5290 IMG_5292 There was also a Mamey Sapote tree. The sign under it said the taste was similar to pumpkin, sweet potato and marachino cherries with the texture of an avocado.  Why on earth would anyone want to eat something that tasted like that???

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IMG_5299 IMG_5300 IMG_5301 IMG_5303 IMG_5307

This Mariachi band was in the Mexican GardenIMG_5310 IMG_5314 IMG_5320 IMG_5328 IMG_5329

IMG_5348 IMG_5351 IMG_5349 IMG_5346 IMG_5352 IMG_5353 IMG_5356 IMG_5359 IMG_5377 IMG_5379 IMG_5382 IMG_5384 IMG_5387 This guy might look nice and fuzzy but notice the spines.  Ouch!IMG_5391 IMG_5392 IMG_5394 IMG_5399 IMG_5402 IMG_5403 IMG_5416 IMG_5413 IMG_5420 IMG_5421 IMG_5422 IMG_5423 IMG_5425 IMG_5426 IMG_5429 IMG_5431 IMG_5432 IMG_5434 IMG_5436 IMG_5438 IMG_5441 IMG_5447IMG_5446

There was an avenue of these cork trees in this area and more throughout the garden.

IMG_5450You could buy this sculpture for $11,000+ if you wanted to put it in your garden.  Sculptures by different artists were placed in the various gardens with the title, artist, and price to purchase on a placard. The most expensive was $50,000 and was just a shaped block of metal.  I much preferred this Matador.IMG_5459 IMG_5464 IMG_5472 IMG_5478 IMG_5480                                                                               This is an Orange Clock Vine IMG_5483

Rosalind Hibiscus – it was a huge flowerIMG_5499 IMG_5504We saw hanging air plants like these in Ecuador.IMG_5505 IMG_5506 IMG_5508As we were walking past a huge Agave plant a couple pointed out this tiny hummingbird that was flitting around.  I couldn’t get a really good picture of it; it wouldn’t stay still long enough that  my camera could lock on a focus.  As we were leaving the garden the couple called us over to their vehicle. They had a bird book and had looked it up.  It was a Rufus Hummingbird, which is the smallest of the hummingbird species.IMG_5509 IMG_5519 IMG_5522 IMG_5526IMG_5523This is called a strawberry tree, obviously for the blossoms. Hummingbirds really like the nectar in them.

IMG_5527The Hamilton’s Children’s Garden contained a “Spell and Smell” Garden where they had a plant for every letter of the alphabet.IMG_5528 IMG_5529 IMG_5531 IMG_5534

They also had an amazing tree house!IMG_5538 IMG_5542 IMG_5544 IMG_5540 IMG_5546 IMG_5550

This is the blossom of an Island Mallow. IMG_5554 IMG_5555 IMG_5556 IMG_5562 IMG_5566 IMG_5568

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IMG_5578 IMG_5582 IMG_5584 IMG_5585 IMG_5587 Well, if you made it to the end:  Good for you.  I believe I mentioned in a prior blog that I like to photograph flowers. This is the proof.  We had a good afternoon anyway.

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