Tuesday, March 16, 2010

California's State Capitol

The above picture is the state seal of California. It is the Goddess Minerva sitting there with a bear, the state animal of California.She  is represented as a type of political birth for the state. Just as Minerva sprang full grown from the brain of Jupiter, so California came to statehood without the probation of a territory. We had a guided tour of the capitol and enjoyed that very much. The building, since 1854, has gone through a fire and a couple of floods. After the earthquake of 1906 it underwent some renovation and, more recently, reinforced for  earthquake safety. Modern technology has been used to recreate its past beauty so that its older sections do have an ambiance of the 19th century. Governor Schwarzenegger's office is located in the east wing which is a newer section of the capitol. Below is a picture of the entrance to his office.

According to an editorial in The Sacramental Bee of March 15, the governor takes no salary. The complaint about him in the editorial is that he recently has not been physically present in his office. Another editorial, in the same edition, notes that California legislators' pay had been $116,208, fell to $95,291, and another 10 per cent cut is now being considered. These cannot be happy times in the capitol!
The Capitol Park surrounding the capitol building is absolutely beautiful. It has 40 acres of plants and trees from around the world. There is 100 flower beds, and a cactus garden. A camillia grove honors the early settlers of California.
While in the garden we noticed one lone hummingbird, the Anna's Hummingbird. He was high up in a tree but even without a binoculars he was easily identifiable. As the sunlight shone on him the little patch of red on his neck lit up like a neon sign. That was quite awesome to see. There was a lot in the capitol park which we had to pass up (many of the war memorials we missed) because we needed to move on and see other sights of Sacramento.

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