California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park

I have posted about Golden Gate Park in San Francisco before but there is even more to talk about.  The California Academy of Sciences is a world class science center which proves entertaining for adults and children.  I was visiting the sites nearby and had a few hours to kill and thought it would be a fun stop. It’s been a few years since I last visited and the dinosaurs were visiting this time around!

One of my favorite features is the living roof which is reminiscent of a hobbit house being bulbous with port hole windows. From the roof one can see 360 degree views of the spacious and green park and get a burst of sea air.

Next on the list of my favorites is the indoor rain forest.  No time to travel south of the equator? Come here and see some lovely tress, flowers, birds, frogs, and butterflies native to the world’s rain forests.  Science center guides are available to educate children on butterfly and bird species and their habitats.

Not enough for you?  Head downstairs to a spacious and impressive aquarium where the littles can touch sea creatures in a tide pool and walk under the fish tanks. Don’t forget a visit to the famous albino alligator on your way out of the natural history museum area.  And bring a picnic because there is no better place to sit and enjoy the sunshine in the City by the Bay!

Don’t miss this wonderful stop on your next trip to San Francisco!

UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden

UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden has been on my local list of attractions for a while.  I can’t say why I haven’t gone before but I haven’t.  And after visiting today looking for some fall colors I certainly regret not having gone sooner.  I can say the Arboretum and gardens were not at all what I expected…in a good way.  I expected just a large park with some glorious old trees and a place for my son to run around reasonably free.  Instead, I found a lovely meandering creek called the Putah Creek lovingly surrounded by well maintained gardens and walking bridges.  Visitors can walk the entire thing or sections and can follow both sides of the creek.  They will be joined by runners, students, local residents, gossiping women, and visitors like me.

It is hard to be unhappy in a place like this even with heavy smoke in the air from the Butte Fire raging a small distance away.  Several distinct gardens keep one’s interest while they get their steps in.  Acacia gardens, redwood gardens, desert gardens, and plants and trees from China were the highlights.  Ducks followed us everywhere we went.  This perfect little park is a quiet oasis placed smack in the middle of one of California’s premier Universities.

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers

Golden Gate Park is full of surprises and pleasant escapes from the rest of the City. It is certainly up for “Best Park in America” if you ask me which no one ever does…

I digress. One of the many treats in Golden Gate Park is the Conservatory of Flowers.  It was like a trip back to Victorian times only more humid.

And where better to try out my new iPhone XS?  The portrait feature is a lot of fun providing some fake depth of field by blurring out the background of your subject. The phone is particularly better taking photos in high and low light compared to previous versions. (Thank you Apple for finally improving that.) Some of the filters are comically bad from a real photography perspective but they are fun from a, well, fun perspective.  Bottom line, the phone takes a much much clearer photo than before which I appreciate considering the obscene price.

It’s the City by the Bay.  The City that Rocks.  The City that Never Sleeps. We Built this City on Rock and Roll!  ~Jefferson Starship, We Built This City

Click here for other Golden Gate Park posts which will make you want to visit immediatly!

Check out my other posts on San Francisco here!

Maple Rock Calla Lillies

I have always had a fondness for Calla Lilies since my Grandmother had a yard full of them.  I found the color and shape of these from the Maple Rock Garden Bloomtastic event interesting and unusual.  They look park leaf, part flower, park lili pad to me.

This concludes my Maple Rock Gardens series.  I hope you have enjoyed your macro garden tour!  Thank you for joining me.  Be sure to tip your driver!

D80_2653

D80_2657

 

 

Finding beauty in the mundane at Maple Rock Gardens

My macro lens is attracted to random details trying to make something on the moderately mundane level beautiful by bringing it up close.  Welcome to  Maple Rock Gardens Bamboo garden from up close!  I hope you enjoy your tour.  If you close your eyes and listen to the leaves rustle you might imagine we are in the rain forest together somewhere tropical and warm.  I can hear the ocean, can you?

D80_2730D80_2729D80_2725D80_2705D80_2706D80_2708D80_2718

The Leaves of Maple Rock Gardens

The angles and lines of these leaves are so beautiful to me.  The colors are striking in a way only Mother Nature can perfect.  I could have spent hours at Maple Rock Gardens bending and squatting and trying different perspectives on these leaf models.  Even standing in the same spot for a few minutes at a time allowed for the lighting to change enough to modify the mood and look of the leaves.  If you haven’t noticed yet I find the details of mundane things interesting and artistic from the macro perspective.  Thank you for giving me an outlet to share!  I hope you enjoy them too!