Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Palomar College Arboretum

In the picture above is a flowering pear tree, one of several in a row in front of the clock tower at Palmer College.  Back home in the Midwest it was part of the spring scene, I am not too sure if that is true here.  Judging by some of the vegetables which are now being sold in our local farmer's market it may well be spring.  Greens and sugar snap peas are now out on the produce tables, and we have been told that it is the end of the grape season.  By the way, the sugar snap peas are delicious- very crisp and tender, they need no cooking.  We are sure going to miss the fresh fruits and vegetables when we leave here!
Palomar College, located in San Marcos, has quite the pretty campus with flowering shrubs and tall trees, as well as a variety of succulents and cacti on its grounds.  In 1973 a five acre hillside was set aside for an arboretum.  Soon after many trees, palms and bamboos from around the world were planted.
We certainly found many unusual plants and trees in the park.  Pictured above is the flower of an eucalyptus tree from Australia.  If you are wondering, that is a bee in the flower on the right.  There were also flowers just starting to bloom on the tree and it is quite fascinating that they start out in what looks like an acorn.  Not only were the plants beautiful and interesting, but John noticed a hawk sitting in a tree who was kind enough to fly down and sit on a rock for our viewing pleasure.  I was able to get fairly close to him to snap a picture.
I tried to identify the bird later in my bird book.  Unfortunately there are a couple other hawks who seem to have his same color patterns. My best guess is that it is a ferruginous hawk, the only hawk noted in the book who sits on the ground.  We were surprised to see any hawk in the garden, usually they are flying out over open countryside looking for a tasty meal of rodents or other small animals.

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