40.000 Years Ago…

the area of and around Los Angeles did look a bit different than today and slightly different animals wandered around, eating each other on occasion. Like these two guys.

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A wonderful place for those interested in extinct Ice Age plants and animals is the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits. These pits are a cornucopia of fossils for paleontologists and a fascinating place to visit for both adults and children. Nobody will be bored, because the whole place manages to give adults an interesting insight and overview of this period without leaving the kids bored to tears. Far from it. For kids this place is Heaven. Once there, one should not forget to visit one of the actual excavation sites and to spend some time in the atrium rainforest garden, which is a little hidden gem.

Demon Teeth

Squirrels – lovely and innocent, cute and cuddly, right? Delightful to watch, always making one smile? Sure. But there’s a dark side to the furry critters too – they are greedy and destructive when it comes to getting at food. This is what a bird feeder looks like after a squirrel had a go at it:

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The wood is chomped away, even the plastic has been gnawed at in a desperate attempt to get at the bird food.

Well, there is help available. By now the birds here get fed from the Yankee Whipper, 100 % squirrel proof. Don’t forget to watch the video. Big fun!

By the way, the squirrels get fed, too. Their favourite tree is now decorated with dried ears of corn for them to chomp at.

Pretty Critters (Part III)

It’s the time of the year when the squirrels start in earnest to investigate bird feeders in the gardens. Seems the menu is more interesting there than in the park. Don’t they look lovely and innocent, cute and cuddly?
Cute and Cuddly
Well, in a few days you may think differently.

Why?

Watch this space for the sequel…

Union Station

Whenever I have the opportunity to show friends and visitors Los Angeles, I try to start at Union Station. This once was one of the major hubs for travels across the country, bustling with life, the destination for business travelers, tourists and many hopefuls who wanted to make it on the West Coast. Many, many fulfilled their dreams here, and to disembark at Union Station with its gorgeous architecture and beautiful decorations must have been a dreamlike experience in itself.

This all ended with the growing popularity of the car and air travel.

Today Union Station is alive again, against all odds. The buildings were not torn down (it was touch and go for a while), they have been restored to their former splendor. Just to sit for a while in one of the patios surrounding the main building is an experience in itself – peace and quiet reign, one can take a deep breath and relax before re-joining the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

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Or hop on a train. But that’s a different story.

Culinary Curiosity…

…is a wonderful thing. The delights of the palate are numerous and, very often, highly rewarding.

However, I think I will pass on this questionable delight.

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The LA River

The story of the LA River is a long and varied one.

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The good news is – what once was a river and then became a sewer in a concrete bed is (at least in parts) being reclaimed by Nature.

On a stroll yesterday along a 2 mile stretch there was not only the usual lot of mallards, killdeers, moorhens, geese and cinnamon teals to be seen (the black necked stilts live in and at another stretch of the river), but also a white and a great blue heron.

The white heron was very happily engaged with fishing his late lunch out of the water (I assume his lunch was less happy being fished out of the river), the great blue one did what great blue herons are best at: he stood on a rock, not moving one little bit, letting life and the river float by.

A perfect afternoon was had by everyone (apart from lunch, I suppose.)