You can always sense when an article about Los Angeles is about to excoriate our city for the usual things when the words "concrete" and "asphalt" and "freeway" and "glass" and "towers" appear in the first couple of paragraphs.
We're not saying that our especially citified city isn't a glass- and asphalt-laden place, but to paint LA as a location lacking in natural beauty is wrong, wrongheaded, and not at all correct.
Look to our sunflowery urban gardens and growing-back-to-itself river and Griffith Park and the weird little wild places that sprout up between buildings and homes. Raccoon and coyotes and occasionally bears make regular cameos in our neighborhoods, as do seagulls, that wonderfully unquiet bird.
The Natural History Museum is feting all of this fabulous nature-within-the-city-ness at its inaugural LA Urban Nature Festival. The two-day gathering takes seed at the Exposition Park institution, with many happenings sprouting around the museum's plant-pretty, quintessentially California grounds.
The dates? Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28, the first full weekend of summer. That feels like the right time to spotlight shrubs and lizards and sunlight and nature.
The schedule is a crowded one, crowded like a bed of phlox, so pick out what you want to do. A snake feeding demo, a seminar on worm composting, a look at edible wild foods, the building of a willow hut, nature walks, nature photography, lots of activities, lots of real animals saying hello -- it is busy, busy like bees in a rose garden.
Cost? You'll just need to buy/have a general admission to the museum.
Loving our leafy city, which isn't all asphalts and freeways? It's something we should all do, and all probably do, regularly.
Reading another article that opens with an observation about LA's lack of nature, except at its hilly edges? We know what's really happening here, on the ground, in the grass, with the raccoon and the crows and the coyotes and the jacaranda and our still-regal river.