Welcome to my Garden Blog

Nature: wild & untouched. Photographing it, preserving it, taking walks and drinking in the landscapes as they unfold.

Gardens: touched by loving hands. Cultivated, nurtured. Drinking in those landscapes is wonderful, as well.

In my garden one enjoys some of both. Generally unpruned & wild, my plants reshape the garden as they grow.

Beyond the garden borders, natives from the Santa Monica Mtns await. Oak trees with their shady canopies. Cactus & Sage in the sun.

Always there are animal creatures to join in the fun.

I look forward to sharing some of my experiences with you as they unfold.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Quirky Signs on the Interpretive Trail

                 Quirky Trail Sign, Topanga, CA, Photo by Kathy Vilim

I have written several posts lately for Beautiful Wildlife Garden that have a common thread: education. They are Wildlife of Los LionesQuirky Signs Along the Trail, Moon Tree of Monterey, and Gypsy Botanist.  In each, I discuss the importance of educating others about their natural surroundings.  "You cannot love what you do not know."  There is no better place to do that than in a Park.  When people come to a Park, they come to be outdoors, to be part of the natural world, feel the sun on their faces and breathe the air in deeply.  Time slows down as they walk, taking in the green of living plants all around them and gazing out at far away vistas.  People have time to wonder about this natural world all around them.

That's why I love Quirky Signs of Interpretive Trails!  Following a trail through an Oak Woodland is enjoyable in and of itself, but there might be plants you don't recognize or don't even see because they are not blooming yet.  You might ask "Oh, this is Mugwort? This is Hummingbird Sage? What are they good for?  What purpose do they serve?  Is their purpose in the Oak Woodland ecosystem to feed birds, or provide shelter for small critters?"  Low and behold, there are Quirky Signs to answer your questions and get you wanting to know more.  This is especially helpful for people who are new to an area, as well as for kids.  Kids are always full of questions!

Why does this matter?  It is human nature to care about animals you know and plants that you are familiar with.  But if you don't get out and acquaint yourself with the plants and animals in the natural world right near where you live, you are less likely to care what happens to them.  Who cares about that big development that's going to impinge on the local wetlands or interrupt bird breeding grounds? What does it matter if farmers spray pesticides on crops and in so doing kill native plants like the Milkweed?  If you don't know what Milkweed looks like and what it is for, you are not likely to care very much what happens to it.

I myself am a big fan of Interpretive Trails (even if the signs are not quirky).  I love going to a new Park and reading whatever information they have set out for visitors.  I always learn something, and it usually leaves me with more questions.  I guess I am the ever curious "why?" kid!  Hope you have a "Why?" kid in your family and take them outdoors to explore their natural world real soon~

Wildlife of Los LionesQuirky Signs Along the TrailMoon Tree of Monterey, and Gypsy Botanist


Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns