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Oreocereus trollii

Out & About—The 34th Annual Inter-City Cactus & Succulent Show

Out & About

Although I have been collecting, growing, killing, and destroying plants since 1962 or so, it wasn’t until around 1968 that I started specializing in cacti & succulents.

In my retirement years, which began on January 1, 2017, I have been extraordinarily bored. That boredom has led me to develop even more my interest in cacti & succulents, so much more that I’m now entering my cacti & succulents in competitive shows. I’m doing fairly well, having received many first, second and third place ribbons, as well as a Judge’s Choice ribbon and a Best in Show ribbon.

This past weekend, I entered 33 plants/items in 28 categories at the 34th Annual Inter-City Cactus & Succulent Show at the Los Angeles County Arboretum. It is the largest cactus & succulent show in the nation, and probably the world, and probably ranks as one of the largest plant shows, as well.

Founded in 1985, the Inter-City show combines the expertise of members from the Long Beach Cactus Club, the Los Angeles Cactus & Succulent Society, and the San Gabriel Valley Cactus & Succulent Society. I belong to the Long Beach Cactus Club, which was founded in 1933 and is the oldest cactus & succulent club in the nation.

According to the show’s rules, I am a novice, simply because I haven’t been entering competitive shows for very long, so I don’t have the 41 first place ribbons from competitive shows that would bump me up to their Advanced category.

Out of my 28 entries, I came home with 5 first place ribbons, 10 second place ribbons, and 3 third place ribbons, as well as one of the prestigious “Outstanding” show plant ribbon. I also won a “Trophy Cup Trifecta” by sweeping first, second, and third place in the Photography, Novice category.

Here is a video I made of my entries in this year’s Inter-City show:

Bonsai at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

I’m an abject failure

My wise old grandmother

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When I was just a youth of 11, my wise old grandmother forced me to work in the yard. Today it might be called child labor…. :). We had a big yard. In order to provide us privacy in a city subdivision, our yard was bordered by ligustrum in the back and oleanders in the front and on the sides. I was the one that kept the oleanders and ligustrum trim and neat, looking nice, but that might be the reason why I have never had ligustrum or oleanders around my homes…. 🙂

Morning gloryOn the back patio and in the foundation planters she had poinsettias, crowns of thorns, nandinas, pansies, snapdragons, petunias, and morning glories, all with billions and billions and billions of beautiful flowers. Of course, I never got to help with the beautiful plants, just the ligustrum and those nasty oleanders. Note that all parts of the oleander are toxic, and the sticky sap can play havoc with your skin, causing a pretty good rash if you’re sensitive or allergic (like me!).

One day I asked my wise old grandmother if I could have a garden of my own. I never expected her to say yes, but she gave me a pretty good-sized plot of her yard for my garden. Unfortunately, it was the only spot in the yard where nothing would grow. It was sunny and hot, and the hot air from the air conditioner blew there.

Golden Barrel Cactus flowersHa! I fooled her! A friend and I went down to Mexico (with his parents; we were too young to go by ourselves) and bought a bunch of cactus and succulents. We planted them in my garden, and just a few months later I had beautiful cactus and succulent flowers.

That’s where my dislike of ligustrum and oleanders came from, and where my love of cactus and succulents started. In fact, that’s where my love of plants started, and I’ve developed my gardening skills such that I have only failed at growing vegetables and herbs…………

………….and bonsai.

How I love bonsai, but as many times as I have tried to grow and care for bonsai, I’m an abject failure there. Thus I always enjoy getting out & about and finding a beautiful bonsai collection. There is a permanent display at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in the Bonsai Pavilion, and there is a four-week display each summer at the San Diego County Fair.

Recently when I was up at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden, I found another display, albeit just a weekend display for a bonsai show they were having. Following are some pictures from the show. My favorites are the little forests and the wind-swept pines.

Bonsai at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bonsai at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bonsai at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bonsai at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bonsai at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Best in ShowBonsai at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bonsai at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bonsai at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bonsai at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bonsai at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bonsai at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bonsai at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bonsai at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bonsai at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

21st Century AwardBonsai at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bonsai at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bonsai at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bonsai at Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool CatZoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Friday Flower Fiesta — A lily a day keeps romance in play

Friday Flower Fiesta

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Today’s Friday Flower Fiesta comes to you from the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden (LACA&BG) which is where Jim and I spent our 19th anniversary this past May 26.

I took so many pictures that it might take me until next May 26 to catalog them all and let you see most of them!

I still have the orchids and the bonsai to get to.

Meanwhile, though, following is a great collection of day lilies, looking prettier than the great majority of day lilies that are planted along San Diego’s freeways and streets.

All from the LACA&BG.

Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m Zoey the Cool Cat,
and I approve this post.This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I can recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Los Angeles Arboretum — Gone to the birds

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When Jim went to bed Saturday night (he goes to bed much earlier than me), he told me we were going to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena for our 19th anniversary.

When Jim got up Sunday morning (he gets up much later than me), he told me we were going to the Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia (next to Pasadena) for our 19th anniversary.

I guess he had a dream…………..

The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden (herafter, LACA) comprises 127 acres whereas our San Diego Botanic Garden is 37 acres. Of course, we have the San Diego Zoo, also an internationally recognized Botanic Garden, at 100 acres, so there…………..

LACA had a huge Australia garden, probably covering half of the arboretum. That’s about 60 acres. Much of our Southern California climate is very similar to Australia, and Australian native vegetation does exceedingly well here. Walk through Balboa Park here, though, at 1,200 acres, and you’ll see everything in LACA’s Australia garden.

One thing that LACA had that San Diego Botanic Garden does not have is birds. Particularly Peafowl and Canada Geese. More than you can shake a stick at, and if you were to shake a stick at them, some might take the stick out of your hands!

I think if I were around Peafowl  (remember that male Peafowl are Peacocks and female Peafowl are Peahens) more often, they could easily become my favorite bird. They are so much fun to watch.

Following are 15 pictures and 5 flash videos of the Peafowl at LACA. Be sure to watch the last video if you don’t do anything else here today; he’s a little tease! The 15 pictures are of 15 different birds.

Lastly, I would like to dedicate this post to my blogging friend Julie, her husband Anthony, and their son Ming (jmgoyder) in Australia. They are the only ones I know who might have more Peafowl than the Los Angeles County Arboretum.

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peahen at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peahen at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peahen at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Baby Peafowl at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the Los Angeles Arboretum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock (male Peafowl) walking the grounds

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Mom and baby Peafowl

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock jumping from tree to fence

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peahen giving herself a dirt bath

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock showing off

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m Zoey the Cool Cat,
and I approve this post.Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos