Red Blooms in February

We went to the Los Angeles Arboretum on February 14, the day before we left California. The Arboretum is located in the eastern part of the county just outside the city of Glendale. I imagine it is spectacular in any season but in February in addition to the Spring flowers we got to see succulents and cactus in bloom. This plant is some sort of aloe and I have never seen blooms like this on any succulent. The perfect tableau for Valentine’s Day.

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Red Blooms in February

The Good Side of a Caterpillar

My father introduced me to science fiction at an early age. He used to subscribe to Fantasy and Sci-Fi Magazines.I loved the covers and waited for him to finish reading so I could get the issue. I probably read some when I was too young and one was a story about a planet with Giant Caterpillars. It scared me to death. I can still remember the cover with giant caterpillars and one had a young damsel in it’s pincers while he was being shot at by solders with machine guns. I had nightmares and never liked caterpillars after that.

I remember when we moved to Pittsburgh from Cleveland and it was the summer of the gypsy moth. The caterplillars would crawl on my window screen and you could hear them eating the trees. The screen pulsated with insect life The roads had to be sanded because they were thick with caterpliiar guts. I guess around that time I learned about cocoons and how they turned into butterflies. I have been conflicted ever since

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The Good side of a Caterpillar

The Good side of a Caterpillar

White Orchid

I am starting to edit my backlog of images and found this white orchid that I took in January at The Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. Orchids are appreciated anytime but in the dead of Winter when it is seven degrees they are even more beautiful.

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Winter Joy

Winter Joy

Fountain in the Garden

The Florida Botanical Garden in Largo Florida is a wonderful experience and it is FREE! It addition to acres of stupendous plantings there is a Florida Heritage Park attached with historic buildings from the the beginnings of the State. There is a school, rail siding, auto repair shop and many others. The place is very large and can’t be seen in a single visit. This beautiful fountain is in the Tropical Plants area.

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Fountain in The Garden

Fountain in The Garden

Winter Joy

Visiting the Phipps Conservatory of Pittsburgh is nice any time of year but I like it best in the dead of winter. When your skin is dry and you are cold and chilly it is wonderful to spend an hour or two in warm humidity smelling the blooms of orchids and other fragrant flowers. It’s almost as good as a spa treatment. I have no idea what the actual name is of this orchid but it brought me joy in the cold of winter so to me it is Winter Joy.

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Winter Joy

Winter Joy

The Phipps Conservatory of Pittsburgh

I think the best time of year to visit a conservatory is in the dead of Winter. It’s warm and humid inside and loaded with the scent of fresh flowers and orchids in bloom. In Pittsburgh we have one of the best conservatories in the world. The Phipps Conservatory has fourteen different green house rooms connected with walkways. Waterfalls, glass sculptures and benches are scattered throughout and volunteers and employees are there to answer your questions while they maintain the beauty of the environment.

The Bonsai room has some spectacular specimens that have been in training since the 1950’s and the new education center is one of the most advanced green buildings in the United States. All the environments are computer controlled and react to wind,humidity and temperature providing a perfect environment for the flora.

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formalgarden

barrelcactus

The Phipps Conservatory

The Phipps Conservatory

Summer Garden at Carnegie Music Hall

A beautiful summer garden in full bloom outside the Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. I used to be an usher at The Music Hall and remember sneaking into the Museum at night. There was some sort of excitement to see the giant dinosaurs in the dim night light and staying one step ahead of the roving guards.

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Carnegie Music Hall

Carnegie Music Hall