I've very excited about my new column on arts and culture at Tidings. Here's the beginning of a piece I must say is dear to my heart, on the new Pollinator Garden at L.A.'s Natural History Museum. I think my pictures are better than the ones they used, but then, I'm prejudiced.
"Certain phrases evoke the pilgrim urge: Franciscan Appalachian Hermitage. Wayside Chapel. Summer Cottage. But nothing could be a clearer invitation to drop everything, go sit on a bench in the sun, and ponder for a while than the phrase “pollinator garden.”
So when I saw that the Natural History Museum recently added three-and-a-half acres of Nature Gardens — and that a Pollinator Garden was among them — I hurried right down.
Fenced and flowered beautifully, the pollinator garden was an oasis surrounded by tall old trees. Late on a weekday afternoon (the museum closes at 5), I had the place almost to myself. Wide meandering walkways. The wafting smell of sage. Hummingbird feeders and a birdbath and blue ceanothus drowsing in the lambent 4 o’clock light. Purple iris, red yarrow, a stand of rich yellow-green kangaroo paw.
Lettered blackboards were scattered throughout the grounds, offering enough information to intrigue but not overwhelm. “How does pollination happen? ... Wind … Water … Animals. Birds, bats, bees and even geckos act as pollinators.”
The focal point was a pond, overhung with trees, rimmed with sitting-sized rocks, and dotted with clumps of slender green reeds: “A gathering place for wildlife, bugs, including the backswimmer and the naiad; birds, including the black phoebe; mammals, including the sleeping opossum. All come here to drink, find food, cool down, or breed. Look closer.”
I looked closer and saw pearly everlasting, plumbago, lantana, the rare island snapdragon"...
READ THE REST OF THE POLLINATOR GARDEN ESSAY HERE.
|ECHEVIERA 'MAUNA LOA'|
at THE LIVING WALL
|THE FAB POND WHERE YOU CAN SEE OPOSSUMS AND|
ALL KINDS OF BIRDS