Layered in Nature and in Art

The eucalyptus trees lining College Ave are not only vertically layered along the street, but the bark peels off in layers.


The Tom Otterness fountain, Matriculated Nature, in the Laemmle Plaza presents a maze of layers for viewing and splashing pleasure.

Otterness Matriculated Nature

Tom Otterness Claremont

via Photo Challenge: Layered


Claremont City Tree

This one could be debated for a long time. Claremont has been a Tree City USA for over 30 years and has over 23,000 trees. Two species, the American Elm and the Eucalyptus are historic specimens.

But because both of those species were transplanted into southern California, I think that one of our native trees should be our city tree, and I submit my vote for the Live Oak Tree. These huge trees are all over the city and in the hills. Here is one in the RSABG and a little grove on the Claremont Wilderness Trail.


The leaves are small, curved and very spiky. It’s not so much fun to walk barefoot under one of these trees.



Trees and Art: It’s Gotta Be Claremont

In our city of Trees and PhDs we have a vibrant art community. Last month art and trees intersected in several events.

The newest exhibit at RSABG features art inspired by Johnson’s Pasture, painted by Kendall Johnson, great-grandson of the people who originally purchased the land in the foothills above Claremont. Ken spoke at the opening reception on July 21.



Earlier in the month on July 17, Sustainable Claremont along with Claremont Heritage hosted a panel of artists at the Claremont Museum of Art to discuss the intersection of art and trees. The Tree Speak exhibit is now over and the current exhibit is Dee Marcellus Cole and Carnival Seekers – open until November 26, 2017.


Poetry that is San Francisco

Outside City Lights, the iconic San Francisco IMG_4627bookstore, in the alley between it and Vesuvio Cafe, resides this quote from the founder and owner of the landmark. The poem Changing Light by Ferlinghetti begins

The changing light
                 at San Francisco
       is none of your East Coast light
                none of your
                        pearly light of Paris


One could spend all days observing this changing light of San Francisco in the POPOS (Privately Owned Public Open Spaces) in the nearby Financial District.

These spaces range from indoor atriums to outdoor gardens and even a small redwood forest at the base of the Transamerica Pyramid building. Most had some sort of art. Some were closed on Sunday when we tried to see as many of them as possible, but that just gives us a reason to come back another time.

City of Trees: Liquidambar

Winter in SoCal looks so much like fall in much of the world. Every day I am seeing snowy photos from Europe on my Instagram feed, and as I walk the streets of Claremont, I see trees a season behind.

I’ve heard that east coast people planted liquidambar trees (also known as sweetgum) here for their colorful foliage.

Before the colors change, the trees look like this:

Some leaves turn yellow.


These days we are seeing some orange and red.

The seed pods are called gumballs (or ankle busters) and are quite prickly.