Garden-Variety Inspiration for the Kid in All of Us

Yesterday T and I did the 2nd Annual iWalk… for Kids. What an inspiring morning! T did great; he walked the entire 2+ mile course and helped push his buddy in a stroller, giving his mom a well-deserved break. He also had a blast playing afterward with the other kids inside of all of the jumps and such at the Family Funfest. I hope to share more from our experience there with T and our friends soon. In the meantime, let me tell you about a more average place even closer to home where T and I discovered some everyday inspiration.

The other day, T and I took a walk through our neighborhood and passed by a corner we often pass by on our many walks (to Starbucks). This time, though, rather than buzz right down for a mid-afternoon snack, we stopped to smell the roses, and for a pretty wild reason.

This was the first animal that caught T's eye at the corner of 6th and Redondo in Long Beach (CA). Alligator maybe?

This was the first animal that caught T’s eye at the corner of 6th and Redondo in Long Beach (CA). Alligator maybe?

A bird of some sort, right?

A penguin (right?) marches through this garden, and with a good message for all pet owners in the area, too.

Turtle of tortoise, yes?

Turtle or tortoise, yes?

OK, maybe we didn’t smell roses exactly, but we definitely took pause to appreciate some changes to the front yard of this condominium building, which is on the Northwest corner of Redondo Avenue and 6th Street just outside of the Rose Park South neighborhood of Long Beach (CA). It appears that a herd of handcrafted animals of all shapes, sizes, and species has taken up residence all along the front parkway of the building! We’ve been more and more appreciative of our neighbors’ yard work and improvements lately, and especially since C remodeled our own front yard earlier this year, but this was above and beyond garden-variety for the area.

Bird in flight.

Bird in flight.

A larger view of the front parkway at the corner of 6th and Redondo.

A larger view of the front parkway at the corner of 6th and Redondo.

There are many birds featured among the sculptures in this front yard.

There are many birds featured among the sculptures in the front parkway of 6th Street and Redondo Avenue in Long Beach (CA).

Bird of Paradise? Not exactly, but pretty close!

Bird of Paradise? Not exactly, but pretty close to a bird IN paradise!

The animals appear to all be made from sticks, leaves, palm fronds, and other gathered and/or fallen foliage. Some of the pieces are also flanked by hand-painted signs asking pet owners to take care when cleaning up after their live animal companions. I have to imagine that clean-up in the case of these animals, however, is pretty low-maintenance.

Neither T nor I could figure out what type of animal this was. Can you see it, RMT'ers?

Neither T nor I could figure out what type of animal this was. Can you see it, RMT’ers?

A seahorse!

I saw a seahorse while T saw a bird flying. Now looking at the picture, I can see both!

The artist has reason to be proud of this peacock.

The artist has reason to be proud of his garden contributions.

T and I were truly impressed and fascinated by the artwork. In fact, I am so happy to have stumbled upon it that I flagged down a person exiting the building so I could ask exactly who was responsible for the display. Yes, it is just that lovely… that and I firmly believe in giving credit to where credit is due. All he could tell me though was that it was a fellow neighbor in the building, but he didn’t offer up a name. Darn.

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This pup ends our garden tour today. Thanks again to the artist(s) responsible for these natural, handcrafted additions to our neighborhood!

This pup ends our garden tour for today. Thanks again to the artist(s) responsible for these natural, handcrafted additions to our neighborhood!

So, to the nameless artist in residence at 605 Redondo Avenue: Thank you. Thanks for making our otherwise average stroll through the neighborhood that much more pleasant, beautiful, interesting, and fun. We look forward to walking by again soon to see if there are any new additions to the flock (and T did notice a few other new ones as we drove by this weekend!). And please continue to take good care of those animals!

Where will you find your inspiration today to get your week off to the right start, RMT’ers? Oh, and if there’s anyone in Long Beach (CA) who can help me track down the artist(s) responsible for these lively sculptures, aside from T and me staking out the building’s entrance until we happen to meet up with them, that is, I’d be forever grateful. Thanks so much!

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