Wednesday, December 5, 2007
MEET THE BUSHYTAILS PT. II
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: http://www.botgard.ucla.edu/.
Have a great day!
[This post was written while listening to the soundtrack "Looking for Richard" by Howard Shore]