I saw some wonderful pictures a friend’s daughter had posted on her Facebook page a few weeks back that were taken at the Fullerton Arboretum. She was very enthusiastic about the 26 acre gardens, so when the opportunity arose, I jumped at the chance to get my camera out and do some random shooting.
It is located on the campus of California State Fullerton and open daily from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. There is a suggested donation of $5 per person which can be dropped into a box at the entrance.
I was concerned with the drought we are having here in Southern California as to whether or not there would be any color to capture. Thankfully the park is full of drought resistant plants and there were many exotics still in bloom.
The grounds are divided up into sections with distinct themes such as the Woodlands Collection (that includes two small ponds), the Desert Collection, and the Mediterranean Collection. There is also a children’s and a community garden, a cultivated section as well as an exotic fruit section.
On the ponds you will be able to spot numerous turtles either sunning themselves on nearby rocks, or their moss-covered backs almost completely camouflaged amongst the pond reeds. We also observed an enormous bright orange carp, several mallards, and a large variety of songbirds.
Of course lizards scurrying across the pathway are a given, the occasional squirrel darted past, and even one lone bunny tried to remain hidden in the shrubs.
There is a small information center where you can purchase a cold drink for a dollar and a volunteer is available to answer questions. The museum was not open during the weekday we visited, nor was the Heritage House.
This is a great location for a family outing. Bring a picnic, do some animal or bird watching, enjoy the huge variety of colorful and exotic vegetation, sit on a bench to read or sketch, or if you are like me, you will be in heaven taking picture after picture.
I also appreciated that most of the plants were well labeled, either by placard or attached sign which identified the name and often a bit of information about them.
Although we covered the entire park and spent a couple of hours wondering about, I spent the majority of my time in the desert cactus section concentrating on trying to capture the wide range of forms and textures.
There are some fun, interesting settings for taking casual portraits, like these:
A wide variety of blooming trees, vines and shrubs gives vibrant color:
But for me, the highlight was trying to capture the unusual shapes, forms and textures:
A wonderful treat just before we left, was to observe two baby hummingbirds in their nest. Momma watched us nervously from a high branch on the neighboring tree and then after determining we meant her or her brood no harm, she swooped in and fed the wee ones.
Gratitude Moment: Today I am grateful for dear friends who opened their home to us to use for a mini get-a-way. And for my bestie who just introducing me to Cadillac Margaritas ~ another first for me!
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