By Sarah Hage
Spring is in the air and in my step…it’s amazing what a little rain will do. The white crowned sparrows are singing in the trees and the bees are buzzing in all the native California plants.
Ever since I saw the Jeep ad, I can’t stop singing “I Love You California!” Turns out, it’s not only a very catchy tune (in a 1920s sort of way), it is the state song. I didn’t even know that states had songs until I stumbled upon a display at Mission San Fernando. I knew that the state bird was the California Quail (very cute with its dangling topknot feather), and the state flower is the California Poppy. I figured that the grizzly bear was the California mammal since he occupies a large portion of the state flag, but I had no idea that the California Dog face Butterfly was the state insect or that there was such a thing as a state marine mammal (the gray whale) or a state reptile (the desert tortoise).
For grand displays of native California plants and the insects who love them, check out the Theodore Payne Native Plant Garden Tour this weekend. For the first time, artists will be displaying installations in some of the gardens on the tour. Other local venues with native gardens are the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles (also home of the Jeffersonian pictured on the TV series “Bones”), Descanso Gardens in Flintridge, and the Arboretum in Acadia.
If the spirit moves you, jump in a Jeep and head out to the Antelope Valley to see California in all its native glory.
I love you, California, you’re the greatest state of all.
I love you in the winter, summer, spring and in the fall.
I love your fertile valleys; your dear mountains I adore.
I love your grand old ocean and I love her rugged shore.