Thursday, October 27, 2005

L.A. trip pictures, take 3: The Huntington Bansai and Orchids, Plus Miscellaneous Red Flowers

At last, Take 3 of the L.A. trip pictures. This week has been a little bit busy with school and journal work, so Take 3 was a little late in coming. I didn't even exercise tonight and worked on the note I have to write for my journal instead. (At least, that's the official reason. I was also feeling pretty lazy and I somehow pulled something my right thigh, near my knee. So I decided to rest that pulled whatever a little, since I will run with GPG in Houston tomorrow.)

So, here are some of the cooler pictures I took/things I got to see at the Huntington:

First, the Huntington has a really neat Japanese garden portion with a special section dedicated to bansai trees. I never knew there were so many different kinds. I took pictures of some of the ones I liked the most:

It's just like a little itty bitty tree, isn't it?

Here is another one. The tour guide told us that the dark part of the tree (in the case below, the strip running up the side) is the only part of the tree that is alive and still growing. Verrrry interesting.

I also thought this one was pretty neat because of the way it twists. I wonder how long it took for the person in charge of this tree to shape it this way.

The Huntington also had a special exhibit on orchids that opened that weekend I was there. As a result, they had lots of beautiful orchids in various places all around the grounds. Aren't they beautiful? This one had a lot of blossoms:

I also took a picture of this one because the blossoms were so big and colorful:

The exhibit itself was actually not of live orchids. It was more about the iconography of orchids and the plant as both a scientific and a popular object of fascination. So there were all kinds of beautiful botanical drawings of different species of orchids, presumably taken out of various original texts in the Huntington library's collection. There was also a collection of orchids rendered in gold by an artist who used dental tools to shape all the different petals and textures of the different species. These golden orchids were amazing--they looked really real! Somehow the artist managed to capture all the little folds and ripples and textures of the different plant parts. It was really neat.

Unfortunately, you couldn't take pictures in that part of the Huntington, just like you couldn't take pictures of any of the indoor collections. You'll just have to go see it for yourself if you're in the area. It's definitely worth a trip!

And, last but not least, I include these red blossoms. Again, I have no idea what plant this is, but I just liked how the flowers looked. Pretty, no?

This weekend I'm headed down to Houston again for a little bit of Halloween. Hope everyone has a fun, scary, but safe time this weekend!


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