Where in the world is this lake? Shaker Heights, Ohio? Pennsylvania? New England? Guess again!

This beautiful lake with stunning trees provided a tranquil backdrop to my afternoon excursion in Los Angeles! This is a lake Franklin Canyon, about 25 minutes (in traffic) from my home; about 15 minutes from Beverly Hills. Yep – smack within city limits, there’s this inviting scene. What a contrast to the city streets, large homes, and extra-large billboards I passed en route.

I found many of my favorite pine trees, with their refreshing smell that reminded me of camp summers in the pine conservation forest in Connecticut. The trees in Franklin Canyon have new pine cone growth – light green cones pushing out through the pine needles.

Yet this is Greater Los Angeles, home of palm trees. I saw those, too – in between the tall pines.







What a contrast! And to make the scenery even more interesting, I passed some large cacti…just off the lake.

I’m used to seeing one type of scenery. On the east coast – or even in Ohio – I saw pine trees, other evergreens, oaks, and maples. In Los Angeles, a typical street has palm trees, cacti, or other desert-related plants. (The rose bushes and lush lawns are not native to LA.) This was the first time I recall being surrounded by pines and palms, cactus and wildflowers, and lizards and ducks.

A study in contrasts…a study in pleasant, relaxing contrasts!