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The Republic of Molossia was not the only magical land Benny and I traveled to last week. We also visited the monuments and islands of the Petersen Rock Garden near Bend, Oregon. I was excited to go there, but the photos I saw prior to our visit really didn’t prepare me for the scope of the place. Maybe my pictures won’t do it justice either.

This place was built by a Danish immigrant in 1935 or so using unusual rocks that he had collected from around the general area. I’m not sure if he meant for the place to be a land unto itself, but it sure seems like it. There are miniature houses

of varying levels of grandeur,

a patriotic monument

or two

and even a separate island area guarded by a lighthouse

and some peafowl.

There was a cat who was trying to give us a tour, I guess,

and a chicken who was being rather show-offy about being able to walk around the moated mansion that had been roped off from us humans with caution tape

(actually, there were a lot of chickens – a lot),

but no other humans anywhere. At least none that were willing to come out and talk to us.

It’s too bad the museum was closed because I hear that inside there are little castles made out of rocks that glow in the dark. Oh well. Maybe next time.

I hope there is a next time, actually. There seems to be a lot of controversy about this place lately, around who is running the place and whether they’re greedy creeps or good stewards who are just overwhelmed by regulations and the enormity of maintaining the place. The garden keeps closing and being saved and closing again.

It’s open now, albeit in a bit of a state of disrepair. And as with all things, the future is unclear so if you want to see this place I would suggest you make a trip there soon.

Important update

About a year ago, I posted a photo of a lost pheasant flyer I saw in Hollywood. As happens with most lost pet flyers I post, nothing came of it. Nothing is ever really supposed to come of it, actually; I just like sharing the artistic nature of these various flyers. But then in December, I got an email from a guy named Drew. “I saw a pheasant in my yard just a few minutes ago…” and he asked me to give him the phone number from the flyer so he might contact the pet owner; he was in the same neighborhood as where I had found the flyer and everything.

I was pretty excited. This had to have been the same pheasant, and this would be the first time that one of my posts actually did something good in the grand scheme of things. I gave Drew the phone number from the flyer, and he left a voicemail message at the number and promised he would let me know what happened. I didn’t hear anything for a while.

Drew emailed me again yesterday. He said he had never gotten a response to his first voicemail message, and the pheasant was back in his neighborhood. He had just left another message, and this time he got a return call. It turns out that the flyer wasn’t left by the pheasant’s owner, but by just another concerned person who had seen the pheasant in the neighborhood, and was hoping to reunite it with its owner. The concerned person put up quite a few updated flyers tracking the whereabouts of the pheasant during the month of March of last year, and she got a number of calls, but nobody came forward to say that this pheasant was a lost pet. Finally, she talked to a friend of hers who said that her brother was breeding pheasants in the area and letting them go wild. So, mystery solved? I think I’d have some questions for my brother if he were engaged in such activity, but this isn’t my brother, and leben und leben lassen, I suppose.

Anyway, now there is a neighborhood in Hollywood with about 30 pheasants who don’t belong to anybody. They don’t seem to be traveling in a pack like the green parrots up in San Francisco or the peacocks in my old neighborhood in Elysian Heights, so maybe if you’re in need of a pet, you might want to take your gold coin/lotus/pyramid trap down to Hawthorne and Martel and make a new friend. I know pheasants aren’t quite as dramatic-looking as peacocks, but I can honestly say that having any sort of big plumed bird in your yard is a feeling like no other.

The babies are pretty cute, too.


Storefront art – endangered by stupidity edition

Let’s pretend for a moment that I’m the stupidest commercial landlord in all of Los Angeles, shall we? And I have a tenant in one of my buildings who runs your standard type of pet store, one that stocks puppies:

and frogs, and bunnies:

and iguanas, and turtles, and fish:

and there happened to be a really nice arcade over the door of this building, and the tenant decided to use that arcade to jazz up his already great pet mural out front:

and paint a beautiful peacock with its tail spread out protectively over all of the other animals, spread out across the entire arcade, his feet perched on the security gate rail:

Let’s see; if I were the stupidest commercial landlord in all of Los Angeles, what would I do when I saw my tenant’s beautiful mural? Oh, that’s right; I’d cover it with a crappy yellow awning:

Hooray! I’m the stupidest commercial landlord in all of Los Angeles!

Published in: on May 25, 2008 at 3:56 pm  Comments (2)  
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