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…..At The Huntington Botanical Garden’s amazing exhibit on the Celebration Lawn.  This extraordinary experience within a Nautilus-shell-shaped 28 foot ‘sculpture’ is clad in shiny aluminum and you enter an amazing sound experience.

Orbit Pavilion at the Huntington Botanical Gardens

Marsha and Stu, my life long snow bird friends from Chicago who winter in Newport Beach, huddle with brilliant Curator Susan Maxwell before entering the Orbit to hear NASA’S fleet of earth science satellites that monitor our planets vital signs. This sound experience represents the movement of the International Space Station and 19 earth satellites.  As there is no sound in space, each satellite has been given a recorded sound attached to it’s signal and that’s what you hear from a speaker as it’s trajectory is picked up.  For the Space Station, because it’s manned, it’s sound is that of a choir!  ‘These NASA studies help to unravel the complexities of our planet from the highest reaches of Earth’s atmosphere to it’s core.’

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Inside the structure is where things get really interesting, as each satellite flies overhead through space, that corresponding sound is emitted from each of the 28 speakers mounted on the structure’s interior wall.’ Visitors walking into the structure hear a new kind of symphony, with a sound interpreting each of the satellites’ various missions: among them a human voice, the crashing of a wave, a tree branch moving, a frog croaking. The “soundscape” was composed by Oakland-based sound artist Shane Myrbeck.’
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Here’s a list of the satellites along with their tasks.
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I suggest that you go first to NASA’s related interactive exhibit, “EYES ON THE EARTH” in the Mapel Orientation Gallery right across from the yummy new restaurant, 1919. You’ll learn so much and be better prepared to experience the ORBIT.
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Susan also graciously gave us a special tour of the ‘GARDEN OF FLOWING FRAGRANCE’ ( Liu Fung Yuan) where I learned quite a bit more than I had known.  Those of you who went on the trip to China with Charles and myself will long remember the Gardens of Suzhou whose architects and artisans built this astonishing garden. This memorable day was thanks to lovely Cris Lutz who you can see to the right in this photo.  It was a joy to share this beautiful experience with her.  Thank you Cris!
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I seriously doubt that there’s a rock, pebble, shrub or tree that Susan is not knowledgeable about!
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This was quite possibly the most exquisite Chinese Magnolia I have ever seen and I could hardly wait for the next Brush painting class for it to be our subject! As you know if you’ve ever been in class….a flower is never just a flower but represents something so sublime speaking to the harmony of heaven and earth!
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This fine fellow, a Canadian Goose, enjoyed sailing amidst the Lotus Pods about to shed their seeds for next seasons growth.
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The stunning rocks are all from Lake Tai and one could spend a day just contemplating their complexity! It’s apparent the garden is aptly named as with each season new plants and trees bring forth their heavenly fragrances.
IMG 0748Oh joy! As you walk along each pathway, pause to note each stone beneath your feet has been handset by an artisan!
IMG 0752The newly reopened restaurant, 1919, is a mini Border Grill and you know how great that is!  There are classics like tacos on homemade tortillas, ceviche, and aqua frescos along with sushi at a small plates bar.  So many delicious choices…..Here’s the yummy sandwich ares.
IMG 0778A couple of evenings later there was a most interesting and knowledgeable lecture “From Castles to Tea Rooms: Japanese Architecture and Carpentry Traditions of the Edo Period (1600-1868)
IMG 0863To my utter amazement, this was the last slide….
IMG 0875I just can’t imagine how the photo from my March 19th 2013 blog was found!
IMG 0874So there you have it….LIVE JOYFULLY!

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