Walking Santa Cruz – UC Farm to Arboretum

Early October we decided to make a quick trip to Santa Cruz. We sent the dog to our son’s ‘ranch’ so we were free to go on some rides. Nevermind, that we didn’t ride, being overwhelmed by the crowds and the cost on the boardwalk.

What we did do was visit University of California Santa Cruz Farm on the way to town.UCSC Farm entranceBeing Santa Cruz, it’s not a farm but the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Very big picture.

They were having a festival to show off the farm with an ocean view. (Sorry the phone photos don’t quite pick up the ocean. But it is out there.)

UCSanta Cruz FarmWish I’d know to sign up for the pie judging contest.

Pie judgingThis young woman was trying to generate power with a stationary bike to run the blender for a strawberry smoothie.

Bike BlenderThere was information tables (besides apple juice tasting, veggie stands, rock climbing and wagon rides)

UCSC info tableAnd naturally rows of veggies.

UCSC vegetable rowsWe did people-watch at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk on a very warm afternoon

Santa Cruz boardwalk

and had a marvelous dinner by the beach in Capitola.CapitolaThe next day we made off to the UC campus again to visit the Arboretum. We ambled through the native California plants. Zig-zag or take a few steps – this is a relatively easy place to walk through. arbor patharbor trail Even though it’s October, there were a few flowers. Here’s a California fuschia.

California fuschiaWe wandered through South Africa, New Zealand and the Australian sections with this blooming River Banksia.

River Banksiaand some stunning ghost gum (eucalyptus).

ghost eucalyptusA few benches provide more restful spots – though it was a brisk morning and we kept moving.

Arboretum benchThe cacti garden provided more flowers and amazing patterns.

arbor cacti garden10-14 botan more cacti m 10-14 botan cacti m 10-14 botan cactus m 10-14 botan m 3
Some of the whimsy of the Arboretum was intentional as this shed was labeled Owl Observatory on one side and Box Office on the other.

arbor shedThis spider sculpture spans another ghost eucalyptus.

UCSC spiderAnd sometimes unintentional whimsy – as this sign had lost it’s text, but lichen decorated the border.

arboretum lichen labelWe didn’t get to all parts of the arboretum – so there’s more to explore. A Laurasian section is coming. Laurasian? You could look it up.

For arboretum information, please visit online at UCSC Arboretum.

We look forward to our next Santa Cruz visit. Maybe this will help your next trip.

See you on the trail!

Words by Lynn Millar, pictures by Lynn and Mike Millar, available upon request.

 

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