Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Arboretum (Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden)

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The Arboretum is a great place for multiple reasons, from being pleasant to being a perfect ground for advertisements, movies, and photographers. It is also a place for Eagle Projects for the Boy Scouts of America, which I was able to take part of a few months ago. Having such a diverse audience, it is obvious that people flock here for the Arboretum's different areas, using parts of each to create their own spot or an experience.

After all, one Hyundai advertisement was shot at the driveway to the Arboretum already this year. Wedding photographers come here.

I go here for a pleasant morning exercise, but now, with the D90, it is also a place for good test shots. So that is what I did. I'll start out with photos from the Sony W90 and then transfer onto the one visit where I brought the D90.

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Where to start out? The peacocks of course! Not only are they famous, they are beautiful. During the spring and summer seasons it is the best time to see them, as the males will open up their feathers for a beautiful display. See them react and move around. I can describe as much as I want but really, you have to see it to be in real awe.

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But of course, let's not forget about the female peacocks. This peacock in particular was shocking, as she had 6-7 baby peacocks in tow, following her.

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See what I mean? I was already late when I took this shot. The peacock was probably annoyed after seeing me take photos for 5 minutes. Or she wanted to take a stroll. Anyway...

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...did you know about the squirrels yet? Although they are not so big of a highlight, you can find them all year long eating and strolling around the Arboretum. They are quite interesting too- they look, run, and stare at you.

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You can also find turtles too located in the Arboretum's ponds. Again, their actions can be intriguing, like the row of turtles sunbathing in the second photo!

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Ducks, fish, and goose are also found in the pools of the Arboretum too.

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Now that we have seen some animals, how about we see some scenery? This conclave of trees is nearby the entrance. After you go into the Arboretum, go straight out past the large intersection and you will see it.

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Close by going left are displays of aloe vera and various plants.

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Or, go left and up and you will find a food garden and further up, a orchid display.

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...where you will also find orchids inside and outside the small building.

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On the other side of the Arboretum is a beautiful herb garden with plenty of kitchen herbs, fruits, and other plants. Smell, smell, smell the plants please! Fragrant flavors are ahead.

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Prefer mountain views instead? Well, on the other side of the park, head upwards and you can get beautiful panoramic images of mountains and see the Arboretum from up above. A panoramic is coming later in the post.

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One of the best shots in my opinion with the W90 that I have taken was at the pond near the Queen Anne Cottage and Hugo Reid Adobe. It is also a relaxing spot too. Plenty of shade, and the birds and turtles accompany you while you enjoy sitting on a wooden bench.

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Would you like a pomegranate for a snack? Sorry, the Arboretum does not allow you to pluck them off. If you do and the employees see you then they scold you. Just a little warning...

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Here is a cactus flower near the entrance of the Arboretum.

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Here is a birds of paradise plant in a shady dirt trail area.

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What is this plant? I do not know, but it is also in the dirt trail area in the middle of the Arboretum. Looked interesting to me so I took a photo.

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Hmm...do florists use these fluffy flower balls for flower arrangements? They look fit for that purpose. Or for a wall decoration.

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Another random flower photo that I took.

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Here is a mountain panoramic which was taken above the waterfall feature. That is coming up soon!

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Should this be my new header now? I am debating. Anyway, this is where the Hyundai commercial was taken- in the opposite direction I am facing. I took my current header photo also on the opposite direction before the waterfall area FYI.

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Now we are moving on to photos taken with my D90 on my first day that I took the D90 out from the house. I rarely bring it out only because it is large and is quite annoying if I go somewhere else and have to leave it somewhere. Here is the first test shot I was trying out. I was shooting on manual and so I did quite a lot of adjustment as I was not used to the situation! Practice makes perfect. In the end this shot was underexposed, but other shots were okay. I like the contrast better in this photo in comparison to the other test shots that had the above items, nearby the entrance of the Arboretum, in the photo.

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Do you still remember what I said about the food garden like I said earlier about the Arboretum? Well, they have plenty of things- grapes, herbs, tomatoes, et cetera. Here is a big batch of delicious green bananas. No, I did not eat one...

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Here is a path for you to enjoy. :)

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And here is another birds of paradise, but taken nearby the food garden.

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You did not really get a good glimpse of the cactus, so here is a better photo.

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Now I started playing with the 11 focus points. Here is the first result now in Aperture priority mode. I got too lazy constantly adjusting the aperture and shutter speed. I quite like this shot but my dining companions who saw this photo thought it was a bit weird with the blur...

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We then walked by Catawampanampus (SP???), which is a interesting structure by itself. Chances are, if you are sitting on one of the benches nearby, it was recently sanded and painted again by a Boy Scout during early summer this year.

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Two words: Hi birds!

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As stated, here is the waterfall, which is a attraction for professional photographers and the general public. In fact, while I was shooting this picture there was a person in front of me, decked out with a large, stretched out tripod, taking pictures of the waterfall with his Nikon. Constantly, he made adjustments. Meanwhile, I was just in the far back trying to see the differences with various shutter speeds. I wanted to create the smooth water effect but the shutter was too long for my hands to hold still, and the photos ended up blurry. This one survived though!

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Here is a different view of the herb garden. Large, isn't it?

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Inside the herb garden is a flower I like for its smells- the "bai lan hua" or michelia champaca, (Alba Champaca), which is part of the magnolia family. Go spot these flowers! They smell fantastic.

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According to the placard this is a strawberry ____ tree! They looked interesting so I snapped a picture.

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Nearby the strawberry tree is another pond area. A person with a telephoto lens was taking closeups of a tree earlier before I arrived here.

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Again, here is another photo nearby a pond (same place where the turtles and the picture with the palm trees and Hugo Reid Adobe was taken), with ducks. I did not mean it to be this way, but the duck with the purple feather seems to be the highlight of this picture!

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To end the post I will end with another flower picture. These flowers would have been easily ignored but I noticed them and liked the interesting shape they had, so I snapped it. At first they looked blurred on the display of the camera, but on the computer that changed.

Now, do you want to visit the Arboretum? (No, the Arboretum is not paying me although we have been members there for years now) I still have plenty of parts of the Arboretum left out from the post. Come and visit for a long time and have a pleasant experience. You'll enjoy the 7-8 dollars you spend per person. Perfect for a weekend family event!

The Arboretum (Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden)
301 North Baldwin Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91007
Tel: 626-821-3222

Whew! All this editing and writing done in 3 hours. Fun, isn't it? Josh, I hope you find these photos helpful. (Thank Josh for giving me the push to write the post today)

6 comments:

Mochachocolata Rita said...

ohhh loving everything! especially the grand peacocks...that long row of turtles...and the super cute squirrel

foodbin said...

so much to see and do at the Arboretum-like the photo of those turtles balancing on a log.

EatTravelEat said...

Mochachocolata Rita,
I thought everyone would enjoy the animals :)

foodbin,
Most certainly! After you take out the dirty poo on the concrete paths which occur at times.

Protocol Snow said...

Beautiful photos. I think a lot of Arcadia residents take the Arboretum for granted (myself included). This makes me want to visit.

EatTravelEat said...

Protocol Snow,
Thanks! Forgot to reply earlier on. To me, the Arboretum isn't a place taken for granted as before it was admission everytime I went. Now I take it for granted as it's my "neighborhood garden" as they call it!

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