Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Well, it's taken me a while, but here is my post on the highlight of my California trip. I've already shown you the peacocks, but the Leo Carrillo Ranch has so much more to enjoy. But first, some history:

Actor, preservationist and conservationist Leo Carrillo (1880-1961) was born in Los Angeles.

As an entertainer Leo was highly successful, appearing in 15 major stage plays and more than 90 motion pictures.

Leo's greatest fame, however, came from his portrayal of Pancho, the mischievous sidekick to Duncan Renaldo's Cisco Kid in a pioneering television series of the early 1950's. (If you remember the show, you've got to be around my age!)

Shot entirely in color - a first in tv production - its 156 action-western episodes ran for six enormously popular years.

At the peak of his film career Leo felt an intense yearning to find a retreat where he could re-create an Old California-style working rancho, an important cultural asset he felt was rapidly dying out. In 1937 he came across the Rancho de Los Kiotes in what is now southeast Carlsbad. Leo quickly snapped up his first 840 acres for $65,000 or $77 per acre. He immediately began construction of 18 structures necessary for his ranch operations and, over time, increased his spread to 2,538 acres.

In 1977 the city acquired a tiny 10.5 acre remnant that contained and protected the most critical original buildings. A $5.5 million catch-up round of restoration has now been completed.

A required transfer of 16.4 acres from contiguous residential developers has expanded the Park site to 27 acres.

Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park is an extraordinary educational and passive recreational resource, the envy of all Californians, and a visitor destination.

In this case, a photo is worth a thousand words, so I will simply post a sampling of photos from the day of our visit so you can see what a beautiful place the Carrillo Ranch is (you can click on the photos for a closer view):

We spent a lovely afternoon at the ranch, the weather co-operated, and we had the whole place almost to ourselves. We meandered around drinking in the beauty of the gardens and the architecture as well as the
all-pervading refreshing!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Who Said You Can't Teach Old Dogs New Tricks?

The middle 'Old Dog' was on a brief leave of absence from her computer to take the photo

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Proud As A Peacock

Personally, I think peacocks have good reason to be proud - they are a gorgeous specimen of God's creation!

We recently visited the Leo Carrillo Ranch, here in Carlsbad, and we received a regal welcome:


There were peacocks everywhere:

...but especially when we  brought out our snacks.

Of course one is not to feed the peacocks, but, by the way they hung around us, it was very evident that people do.

ChrisJ:  "Oh, aren't you lovely!"

"Have you come for a visit? Come on closer, then, you pretty boy"

"Mmm...I think that's close enough!"

Pretty Peacock: "Yes, well, I know you would like a photo of me -- but which side do you think is my best?

This one?"

"This one?"

"Or, perhaps this one??"

Sadly, my days here in California are almost done. But I will post more about the Leo Carrillo Ranch very soon. It has an interesting history, and is such a picturesque place. Makes for some great photo shots!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

California Wildlife Snapshots

We' ve been staying pretty close to home since I arrived here.

But there is always something going on in the garden:

Especially when the weather is warm

"I  don't know what she's looking at - do you know what she's looking at?"
"No, but she's making me nervous"

"She's making me nervous, too. I need to get to that birdseed before the birds do."

My sister tells me this is a cicada...I am not so sure, but he was big -- probably five inches long!

One of my favourite trees down here

And a very pretty corner of the garden

Oops -- sorry!  She's not wildlife.

She's enjoying the wildlife!