Monday, March 11, 2013

A picnic at South Coast Botanic Garden

It's a beautiful day in Southern California.  After getting a year membership to South Coast Botanic Garden last weekend while Theresa's parents were visiting, we decided we should come back for a Sunday picnic lunch.
I hope all these plants aren't upset at us for eating salad in front of them...
We enjoyed a tasty lunch of spinach salad, rotisserie chicken, Hawaiian rolls, and then for dessert Theresa made chocolate covered strawberries!  Mmm.

What a difference a week makes.  The blossoming cherry trees that were exploding with blossoms and color last week are starting to become more bare.

All the blossoms are on the ground now.  It was quite peaceful though sitting at the base of these trees eating lunch, when a gust of wind comes along and suddenly you're surrounded by blossoms.

We headed back to the car to drop off our picnic items and then headed back inside to enjoy all the spring flowers.

Last week I was trying to figure out how to get some closer shots of the flowers.  After researching it online during the week, there are a few options at my disposal including either buying a new macro lens or buying an extension tube that will fit my previous lenses and allow closer focusing.  There was one thing I already had though that I wasn't even considering.  I have a 2x teleconverter for my 70-200mm lens to help me zoom even further.  One unexpected benefit I discovered was that it also lets you stand just as close as you would for the 70-200mm lens but everything is 2 times bigger on the sensor.

Theresa and I wandered through the gardens row by row looking for pretty flowers.  Eventually we're thinking of using some of these to decorate the walls of our house.

I really did look for signs this time so I could put names to all these flowers, but sadly they weren't listed.

I have to thank my lovely assistant Theresa for most of these flower pictures.  You can't see it because I've cropped it out, but her fingers were in most of these photos.  She would point the flower into the sun to keep the shadows to a minimum, while I angled for the best view.

We wandered along the paved road, but then I noticed a small dirt trail that led up into the trees.  Being the adventurous explorers that we are, we braved the trail and came upon a small grove of orange trees.  Needless to say, Theresa was excited because she loves trees that produce fruit.

I can't remember a time I've ever seen a mulberry bush.  This one hasn't produced any berries yet, so we'll have to come back again later.

One place we didn't visit last time was the greenhouse.  They've got some really interesting things growing in here.  Not a single label to be found in here though.

This plant had a super bright pink frond with little purple flowers sprouting off that.  How interesting!

Theresa did not like this one at all.  She said it reminded her too much of snake skin.

This flower looks to be backward from all the others we've seen.  The petals are all facing backwards.

Theresa enjoys these little creepers that curl up and form spirals.

After coming out of the greenhouse, we came upon a butterfly enjoying the flowers.  They're all over the place here.  Maybe that can be another theme on our wall at home.

Goodbye Miss Butterfly (and yes I did look it up to see what the differences were between males and females).

As we were heading back to the entrance, there was one more interesting flower Theresa saw. And it even had a bee enjoying it.

I think we've found another great hangout to go along with the beach.  

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