In the Rockies

In the Rockies
Butler Gulch

Thursday, May 21, 2020

When I Feel Deprived -- And a beautiful garden

I encountered these homeless tents in Los Angeles while walking from my bus stop to Union Station in early March. There are undoubtedly more of these tents now. In case I forget them, the homeless man who makes his home more with a tarp than a tent beside a corner bench that I pass coming or going onto the main thoroughfare when I go to Trader Joe's reminds me that I have a place to call home.

It has its challenges but didn't bend or shake when the formidable straight line winds roared through our city recently uprooting old trees and shredding power lines. The windows did rattle briefly for the first time since I moved here but this building is concrete and steel, a bulwark against storms.

I've minded not being able to walk out of my apartment directly onto the ground, envied my friends who have gardens and yards in which to work, especially now but once I meet the challenge of either the elevator or stairs from my seventeenth floor perch, I'm close to natural beauty.  Earlier the azaleas showed their color for weeks instead of days. The photo below is on a walk around a campus dorm area completed after I moved in September, 2015. The landscaping is lovely and I rarely see more than two or three people in that area.

Before we leave LA, I spent a wonderful day with my oldest grandson Ben. It was special to see him in his home area and to have a leisurely visit. We also enjoyed the Los Angeles County Museum of Art together.

The ride from LA's Union Station up the coast to Santa Barbara to visit my long-time friend and hiking companion from our Colorado days allowed for expansive views of the coast, though you can see a bit of reflection from the window on the moving train in this one.  I had a rare opportunity to tour Lotusland as if I were a private guest. My friend is trained to prune trees in their Japanese Garden, an unusual role for a volunteer, and gained permission for us to visit on a day when the gardens weren't open to the public. I made an effort not to compare their Japanese Garden with our Cheekwood's since Lotusland has much more room for such a wonderful garden.

We walked through other amazing gardens. One that surprised me was the cactus garden. If asked I might have suggested that we skip it but it its way, it was astonishing. Since I lean toward photos with flowers, I was looking up to take this photo. The photo below shows the heights of the tall cacti were on both sides of the path.

 I enjoyed the green sculptured critters and the tropical feel
of the gardens--different even from those I visited in San Diego.

Here is my friend at one of the gates to the Japanese Gardens. It was a memorable treat.
Later we walked the beach near their condo knowing that the next day was forecast (and delivered) as a very one wet one. As I boarded the airplane early on March 11th, I didn't realize that it would be unlikely that I would take another flight in the months ahead. Our Iona pilgrimage was of course cancelled and of this writing, it's not likely that I will make my annual summer visit to Colorado and hike those favorite mountain trails.

So many wonderful visit, so many beautiful photos and more memories, looking out on our varying shades of gray clouds this morning, I have only reasons to be grateful.


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