Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Unknown Water Plants / UCLA Botanic Gardens

Mr. Bushy Comes Out Of The Ferns

Whatta Ya Lookin' At?

Gettin' A Drink

Yesterday at lunch when I was down at the Mildred Mathias Botanic Gardens here at UCLA I came upon this tree stump that had a plastic container full of some sort of water plant. I have no idea what it was. But as I was looking at it and taking photos, the ferns below started rustling and up pops a squirrel. The photos tell the story from here—and surprised me, I must say!

There is a stream that runs through the gardens, but they are rennovating them at the moment and have cut off the flow of water to the lower portion of the gardens where this little feller lives. I can only assume that this has become his private watering hole during this project.

The koi and turtles that live in different areas of the stream have been sequestered in those areas by damming them off and proving fresh water via an industrial-sized mister placed above each. I spoke with Henry Varney, the head gardener and botatanist, who told me that the stream should be flowing soon, which will be good news for the other critters.

At the head of the stream is a small waterfall, which flows into several bends and turns until it reaches the turtle's home. A few turns more and it flows around a slower bend (that is also deeper), which is the koi's hangout. There are quite a few in there, too, including some that a fisherman might call 'whoppers.' I have also seen birds bathing at the shallow edges of the stream, including the little Dark-eyed juncos.

If you are ever in this part of the world and want a little dose of nature right in the middle of bustling Westwood, the Mildred Mathias Botanic Gardens is the place to go. It's free! Check out their website here:

Have a great day!


[This post was written while listening to the soundtrack "Looking for Richard" by Howard Shore]


Jim said...

Hi Linda-

I'm so glad you found us at Earth Home Garden. It seems we have very much in common and I look forward to a growing friendship. Your blog is off to a great start.

We find great delight in our squirrels and chipmunks too, as well as all the other "pests" we welcome into our little piece of paradise.

You are another pagan spirit, in our same age bracket, and you live in Culver City, where my mother, and many aunts and uncles were raised.

I spent a lot of time there when I was very young. My Great Aunt Hester worked at the Helms Bakery there for decades.

Linda Navroth said...

Hey Jim--
Thanks for the nice comments. I was hoping to finally connect with you. I enjoyed your blog so much that I was inspired to do one of my own. And after reading some of your archives and finding out that you lived in the SFV & hung out in Topanga in the 60s, well, I just knew we had some things in common. I went to Canoga High and graduated in '68. I have fond, fond memories of the 60s. I remember seeing Spirit at the Topanga Corral!

Your blog is so inspiring. It makes me more aware that I need to start 'treading lightly' on the earth and getting back to a more natural lifestyle (as much as is possible in LA), which also includes more hiking and outdoor adventure.

Thanks for keeping such a terrific journal of you & Peg's activities up in the beautiful So Cal mountains! I check it every day! My best to Peg, Dallas, and Neo.

Jim said...

I went to Sutter Jr. High and then we moved to West Van Nuys so I went to Birmingham High until 1963.
I lived in Topanga for almost 20 years, and the keyboard player for Spirit was one of my best friends.

We probably met each other back then, I spent many many many hours dancing at The Corral.

One of the main reasons I started the blog was to remind us to keep moving along a path toward sustainable living and self-sufficiency but we still have a long way to go.

And maybe the journey is more important than the destination.

Linda Navroth said...

You are right about that. I wear a 'blessing ring' necklace with that saying engraved on it!

With this blog I am trying to show that even in the midst of LA there are cool nature things all around--one only has to open one's eyes & ears and become more aware of the surroundings. I am always amazed how many people I see at work on that beautiful campus, with all the trees and birds singing--and they've got their iPods plugged in and a vacant look on their face.

Even a blade of grass will sprout in a crack in the freeway...the wonder of nature and its power is all around us--even here in the city.