A Day at the Arboretum

Fullerton Arborteum

Over the weekend, I went to the Fullerton Arboretum for the first time. Despite having grown up nearby, I’d somehow never been before. What a shame! I was so surprised that such a vibrant natural oasis exists in an area I’ve always thought of as uniformly drab suburbia. But yes. Scenes like this can be photographed in Orange County:

As usual, I took photos with my iPhone–which actually performed unexpectedly well. I don’t know if it’s because I so rarely photograph nature, or if it’s because it was an overcast day, or if it’s because the slick new iOS7 interface fooled me into thinking I was taking better photos. Whatever it was, I was impressed.

I liked that the arboretum was home to such a wide variety of botanical life. It was especially nice to see large swaths of it dedicated to plants native to the dry climate of Southern California. In the past, I’d never been particularly fond of this region’s natural landscape–normally, I prefer the lush greenery of other places. But there is a stark, efficient beauty to cacti, don’t you think?

The arboretum is also full of scenes where I imagined 19th century children’s novels could take place. Like this stream. As an elementary school kid, I would have been in love with this stream. How easy would it have been to imagine the characters of Little Women or Anne of Green Gables frolicking here?

I like that the arboretum blends all these different associations together. In some places, the combination of exotic and traditional (e.g., palm trees with Victorian architecture) feels almost Australian. I mean, doesn’t this look like it could be a scene from Picnic at Hanging Rock?

All in all, the Fullerton Arboretum is a truly lovely place. One of these days, I think I’ll go back with a book and just read there for hours.

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