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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bees Buzzing in the Lemon Tree

Southern California is having early warm days this year, and the trees and the bees are making the best of it.

HD Video

Our Meyer lemon tree burst into bloom in early February.

Take a look at her feet - sticky from the bright
yellow citrus pollen. 

With the help of these little ladies, we should have a very good crop of sweet lemons later this year!

Keep pesticides away from your garden and help provide food sources for these important pollinators.

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Saucer Magnolia Marks Spring's Arrival

Though it is only mid-February, spring has arrived in southern California and this Asian saucer magnolia burst into bloom.


Like orchids, magnolias are ancient plants. Dinosaurs sauntered under their flowered branches. They are so old, they preexist bees and are primarily pollinated by beetles. 

Asian species of magnolia, like this cultivar, are deciduous. In spring flowers open before any leaves, creating a tree of blossoms.

Magnolia x soulangeana is commonly planted in California gardens. While I'm partial to native plants, this saucer magnolia stopped me in my tracks. 

According to the San Francisco Botanical Garden, M. soulangeana is a cross between the lily magnolia (M. liliiflora) and the Yulan magnolia (M. denudata). They attribute this beautiful hybrid to a French botanist, Etienne Soulange-Bodin, a cavalry officer in Napoleon's army.

Other Earth Minutes with flowers:
Discover Mountain Wildflowers in Wyoming
Discover Fern Canyon, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, CA
An Earth Minute of Orchids
Visit Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands National Park, CA
Hidden Gardens of Los Angeles 

Take a New Earth Minute moment each Week

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sounds of Summer - August in Illinois

Can you hear the sounds of Summer?

Listen to August in Illinois.

Experience a minute with the natural sounds of a Midwestern summer.


The breeze blows slightly through the chorus of insects.

Can you hear the corn growing? 

Visit us every week to watch more at:

Want to hear more natural - organic sounds

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Visit a Kelp Forest at California Science Center - Hidden Gardens of L.A. #5

Some gardens are underwater. In the heart of Los Angeles, the California Science Center offers an opportunity for everyone to experience the wonder of a California kelp forest. 


Kelp forests are a vital marine ecosystem providing important resources and protection for fish species and other marine life.

male California sheepshead (Semicossyphus pulcher)
  Look For:
  • Close-up tanks: Allowing you to see crustaceans, anemones, and small fish up close
  • Fish Identification Charts highlighting the variety of coastal fish species
  • SeaFood Watch Interactive Kiosk: Sit down at a lunch counter and discover how you can help keep oceans healthy by making wise seafood choices.
  • Interactive Games: Be a barnacle and experience the challenge of a stationary creature trying to catch its food.

Special Opportunities:
A Touch Table on the outdoor observation deck offers a hands-on opportunity to experience kelp forest and tide pool creatures. The Kelp Forest is just one Ecosystem highlighted at the California Science Center. You can also explore Islands, Deserts, and more.

A food court within the Science Center.

The Specifics:
  • Open: Daily 10 AM - 5 PM, FREE admission
  • Parking: Ample $10 parking adjacent to the Science Center; Also accessible via the Metro Expo Line (exit at the Expo Park/USC station and walk .2 miles south of the Rose Garden).
  • Restrooms: Numerous
  • Kid Friendly: The California Science Center is designed for kids (of all ages)
  • Accessibility: Readily accessible with elevators to the different floors
  • Dogs: No dogs allowed.
  • Restrictions: Weekends and school holidays can be busy. Special exhibits and the Space Shuttle Endeavor require paid or timed tickets.

More Information:

Discover more Hidden Gardens in the Los Angeles Area
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