Talking oaks and hidden Valentines, Descanso Gardens, February 12, 2017

The garden is never the same on any given day.  Each visit brings a new experience and today the warm Santa Ana winds swept through the oak forest enabling them to "talk" in an audible language.  I was enveloped in a symphony of rustling leaves and birdsong.  Every time I visit Descanso, I always experience something magical.  Today, just on the edge of the camellia forest, I spotted a beautiful swallowtail butterfly flitting about from flower to flower.  She was a bit far away, but I stood quietly and gently asked her if she would mind coming just a little bit closer.  Within a moment, she flew onto some green leaves right in front of me, spread her delicate wings and held still long enough for me to take her photo.  When she was ready to go, she flew away to continue about her business of nectaring on the sweet camellia flowers, and I thanked her for her graciousness.  Besides my encounter with the magical butterfly, I came across a colorful heart made out of camellia flowers.  When the camellia trees drop their flowers, you can usually find messages hidden throughout the gardens made out of the fallen flowers.  I am sure they were created by the fairies who inhabit this enchanted garden!