Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

SANTA BARBARA, CA — My last attempt at the Botanic Garden was a failure. It was closed for some “event.” Yesterday, however, it was open and I went in. The garden is above the town in the foothills. It’s only a few minutes from downtown but it seems like a lot farther once you are there. Silence enveloped me when I got out of the car in the parking lot. It was so quiet, silence broken only by the occasional car and the breeze blowing through the trees. I gathered my gear, walked to the entrance to the garden, paid my $6, and entered the park. The attendent collecting entrance fees gave me a nice map and the information that if I took the trail all the way around without side-trips it would take a little less than an hour to walk around the park.

I walked counter-clockwise around the garden which took me first through the Meadow section and then Redwood section. It was quiet except for the families with loud children or parents singing. I took the Woodland trail up a hill and around among the trees. It was a very nice walk but I was not seeing much I wanted to photograph. After taking the Woodland trail, I looped back through the Redwood section to see if I missed anything.

I walked over the dam and then took the Pritchett trail as another diversion. This trail was much longer and went higher on the hill. It was quiet and I found a few places to shoot a bit. There were a lot of places that I imagine would be much cooler in the wet season, when the rocky streams (now dry) and waterfalls would be much more impressive.

The Pritchett trail was the last diversion trail I went on, as the park closed at 6 and I wanted to be sure I had time to at least see everything on the main trail. I looped back along the part of the main trail that I skipped by takign the Pritchett trail in order to see the waterfall and dam from the bottom. Once again, I bet it is much more impressive in the wet season.

I walked along the main trail along Mission Creek through the Island section, over the rocky creek crossing, and back to the entrance. The area around the creek crossing is where I got most of my few remaining shots of the outing. I was deterred from spending more time there by a loud, kind of annoying family that had been right behind or ahead of me for much of the time on that side of the creek. They kept holding the baby up on a rock and then spending several minutes calling to him (or her, I didn’t see) trying to convince him to look at the camera.

After the creek crossing, I walked pretty much directly back up to the entrance where I paused a moment to shoot one more Sidekick camera shot and grab a drink from the vending machine. After that, back to the car and home.