Tilden Botanic Garden

What to do for George’s birthday? We hadn’t taken a walk through the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden Park for a while, so we headed up there after birthday brunch. The Garden is amazing, ten acres of native plants, including many rare and endangered. We were welcomed by two red-tailed hawks, circling high above.

Red-tailed hawksOne dipped a bit lower, riding the warm air.
Red-tailed hawk

A dragonfly zipped by and rested on a branch for a moment.

Dragonfly

There have been some additions and changes to the Garden since we last visited. Or maybe we never noticed this stand of Darlingtonia californica, or California Pitcher Plant, a carnivorous plant.

Darlingtonia

The California Pipevine, or Dutchman’s Pipe (Aristolochia californica) is resplendent in several places through the Garden. And although we didn’t see any mature Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies, we saw several caterpillars. This one had just shed its skin.

Pipevine swallowtail caterpillar

This is a Dutchman’s Pipe seed pod.

Pipevine seedpod

On to an amazing display of Humboldt’s Lily. There were several towering up to about 6 feet high, just covered with flowers.

Humboldt lilies

A single Humboldt’s Lily flower.

Humboldt lily

The honeybees and bumblebees were out in full force. Here’s a honeybee, with a pollen pack on its leg, busy feeding from a flower on a flannelbush shrub.

Flannel bush flower with beeI couldn’t believe how many bees were on the many flowers of a Matilija Poppy plant. This one flower had at least ten bees coming and going for the half hour we sat and watched, amazed.

Matilija poppy

A wonderful birthday walk in the Garden, and now … a nap.

George restingHave you been to the Tilden Botanic Garden? Is there a Botanic Garden in your city? What’s your favorite plant or animal there?

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