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UCSC Arboretum: Animals Too

Hummingbirds Galore: Because of the large number of flowers blooming all year, the UCSC Arboretum is one of the best places in California to see hummingbirds. There is quite a bit of other wildlife as well, easily encountered on the overgrown paths.

The desert adapted plants at the arboretum require relatively little supplemental watering. Most of that is provided by drip irrigation.

Some of the agaves have a very geometric spiral to their growth.

The symmetry of the agaves is a photographic lure.

This is a species of aloe.

A sleek, brown snake quickly dashes for cover.

The grounds are full of rabbits, making it necessary for the gardeners to put wire fencing around new plants until they are large enough to survive.

The only kind of lizard in abundance seems to be the fence lizard. They have to be wary to avoid the numerous hawks and snakes that hunt in the area.

Although hummingbirds can be seen everywhere in the arboretum, photographing them is a challenge. They almost never hold still and spend a lot of energy chasing each other around the blossoming branches.

Californian ants are very large and well armored. It's as if they are made of metal.

There seemed to be many California quail families. Some had tiny chicks while others had half grown broods.

This large snake was slowly searching along the ground. It eventually entered a gopher hole and squeezed its entire four foot length down.

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