Monday, August 15, 2011

Urban Oasis

Saturday I painted at Vista Hermosa Park near downtown Los Angeles. These are photographs I took there. The painting I made will follow in a day or so.

Vista Hermosa Park is a little like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. In the 1990s, construction got underway on a huge and badly needed new high School and mixed use development in a somewhat tired and blighted part of the city. It was called the Belmont Learning Center. Part way into the building, environmental reports caught up. It turned out that there was serious contamination of the ground owing to oil drilling that went on there in the past. There was also a big old earthquake fault. Not optimal for a school. For years the project stood incomplete. Trees grew up through buildings two stories high. Eventually a smaller high school was built, named for long-time Congressman Edward Roybal. Another new school was built close by at the location of the school district offices. The rest of the land was covered with community soccer fields and a nature park. The park is maintained by Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Although it's on a steep slope, you couldn't really call it mountains, and it isn't really Santa Monica either. But they do a nice job. It's a marvel to see how much nature recovers and thrives.

Macros submitted for Lisa's Chaos Macro Monday. Wild rose hips, a fruit beetle, a wild rose, and a spider on a spent sage blossom.


  1. Interesting, I remember the controversy when we lived in LA but I never heard the end result.
    I like the photos, nice macro shots.

  2. Hi!
    Beautiful shots! Love the one of the black bug. Have a great day!

    Food for Thought

  3. How nice to hear about the wonderful park and see photos of nature blooming. Love the buds in the top photo.

  4. amazing shots! looking forward to seeing what you paint from them...they are lovely!

  5. Great shots! The bug added beauty to the white flower.

    Cassy from Acoustic Guitar Lessons

  6. These are lovely! I especially like the last with the spider on the sage.

  7. I love your shots, nice macro work. I am not certain I could have gotten that close to either of those critters.