Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fullerton Arboretum

We have had many sunny days since we arrived in southern California this past week.  And I believe that it was on Wednesday when we were the hottest place in the nation!  I made the comment to John that I would appreciate one cloudy cool day for a change of pace.  The arboretum we visited yesterday is on the campus of the California State University-Fullerton campus.  It is a 26-acre botanical garden with plants from around the world and the location of the first commercial citrus grove in Orange County.  Oddly enough, the first picture I took here was that of a piece of artwork.  For the month of October there is the "Green Dress Project" being displayed in the arboretum.  With her dresses made of all natural materials,  environmental artist, Nicole Dextras demonstarates that “our future depends on the creation of garments made from sustainable resources”.
The gardens have a small redwood forest, as well as a deciduous forest.    In the gardens are also a variety of ficus, or fig trees. One is the Sacred Fig, or the Bodhi Tree, also known as the Tree of Knowledge or Enlightenment.  It was planted in celebration of 14th Dalai Lama's visit to the campus in  2000.  Another fig tree had fruit on it, and an interpretive sign near it provided information as to how the tree is pollinated.  A fig wasp enters a female flower and, after pollinating it, lays her eggs to ensure that there will be another generation of wasps.  Another ficus tree, the banyon, is pictured below.  It has aerial roots which form branches to the earth below.  In some parts of the world they are called “walking trees”.  In Hawaii a few years back we saw a whole city block covered by the branches of one banyon tree.
I think that it was in this area we found several trees with what looked like hibiscus flowers on them, one of which is pictured below.  The other two trees had red and yellow blooms.  Unfortunately the arboretum has not labeled all the plants.  I am not so inclined anymore in asking people for help in identifying plants, as there few people (even locals who should know them) who can help me in that regard.
 Another very interesting part of the arboretum is the cactus section.  I thought that I was familiar with many cactus plants, but here I found many unusual ones.  And in another section are vegetable and rose gardens.  One squirrel caught my eye there because it appeared that he was munching on straw.  However, turns out that he was dining on pumpkins seeds,  he was totally oblivious to any humans around him!

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