Friday, January 10: After leaving the Old Mission Santa Barbara, I head to the 40-acre Santa Barbara Botanic Garden to explore California’s native flora: cacti, redwoods and wildflowers. I take a walk through the arroyo section, which features plants from most ravines, stream sides and forests. I see conifers, including a cross-section of a giant sequoia. I also come across a Japanese “Shinkanan” teahouse and garden.
I walk through the manzanita section, where I find small shrubs and small trees mainly found in California chaparral, a shrubland found primarily in California and in the northern portion of the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. The light is much too bright today, and the gardens too dry, to make for interesting pictures.
I then walk through the desert section, which features species that thrive in the state’s coastal or interior desert regions, such as California fan palm, the only palm tree native to the state.
Finally, I walk along the perimeter of the Meadow section which is representative of California grassland, featuring bunchgrasses such as deergrass.
Overall the garden is pretty dry as California’s been experiencing a drought this winter. Usually winter is the wet season here. This drought is the opposite extreme of what we’ve been experiencing on the east coast. I don’t stay too long because I find it quite disappointing.
I then head to Stearns Wharf. Built in 1872, it’s the West Coast’s oldest continually operating wooden pier. It was once co-owned by actor Jimmy Cagney. Here I wander around the pier and have a lunch of fish tacos with cilantro rice at Moby Dick Restaurant.
Next stop, San Buenaventura in Ventura. 🙂