Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Historic Sites at L.A. Arboretum

In the previous posting I mentioned these falls which are present in the garden. They are quite beautiful with the foliage and flowers around them. One other item I wish to mention here is that I found an avocado tree in the garden.  It is in the evergreen family and can reach eighty feet in height. I am not sure how I thought avocados grew, but I was surprised to know they grew on a tree! Just like in Hawaii when I discovered there was not a pineapple tree (they grow on a plant).  Traveling does have its educational benefits! There is a Queen Anne cottage located in the gardens. Elias Jackson ( a business man owning hotels and the Santa Anita Racetrack) built the cottage in 1881. He built it as a gift for his fourth wife. They mainly used it for entertaining. There is no kitchen in the home, any cooking was done in an adobe building which is located near the house. Major restoration work was done on the cottage in 1951. The house is opened to the public only a few times a year. However it is possible to see a good deal of the interior just by looking in the windows. A picture of the house is posted below. Also in this historic area of the gardens is a coach barn and an old train depot.

The back of the house faces Baldwin Lake, which I wrote about in yesterday's posting. As I was enjoying the view by the lake I noticed a couple of wood ducks sitting on rocks near me. Since they seemed so willing to pose, I snapped a picture of them.
The gardens also have peacocks running around. We had the opportunity to see one male do a courtship dance with his colorful feathers fanned out. The dance amounted to what seemed to be a  intense shivering of his whole body. Of course, once the female peacocks around him strolled away, he stopped his amorous activities. After we left the gardens John wanted to view some snow capped mountains. We headed into the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. Traveling that much further made it a late day for us but it was worth the trip.

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