Sunday, June 24, 2012

Birding at Sunnylands

On Friday we went birding at Sunnylands, the estate of the late Walter and Lenore Annenberg. The Annenbergs were well-known philanthropists, business owners, art collectors and ambassadors. At their 200 acre gated estate in Rancho Mirage, CA they welcomed US presidents and other world leaders as well as leaders in business, science, and the arts for almost 50 years.

Entrance to Sunnylands Center and Gardens

Walter Annenberg passed away in 2002, and Lenore passed in 2009.

Their estate is now overseen by The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, which manages both the historic residence and the Sunnylands Center and Gardens.

There is no charge to explore the gardens or the new visitor center, which also features a cafe and gift shop.

Guided tours of the grounds and residence are available for a fee, reservation required.

Winding paths meander through the 9 acres of gardens, which are landscaped with more than fifty species of drought tolerant plants from the arid regions of the Americas, Africa and the Mediterranean.

Mass plantings of individual species create groupings of color and texture, recreating a sense of brush strokes in Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings.

Artichoke Agaves and Wildflower Field (behind)
Monarch Butterfly and Chrysalis

Euphorbia sp.

The low angle of the morning sun made this Euphorbia look like it was glowing from within.

In addition to Monarch Butterflies, Queen Butterflies and Dragonflies, we saw Cottontail, Black-tailed Jackrabbit, Cooper's Hawk, Costa's Hummingbird, Mourning Dove and many others.

We will definitely be coming back for a guided tour, to learn more about the Annenbergs and their pursuit of world peace and understanding through civil discourse.

For more information about Sunnylands and the Annenberg Foundation Trust, or to reserve tickets for a tour of the historic residence and grounds, visit:

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