CA Trip: Mitchell’s Moreton Bay Fig

w16-21-handbk-santa-paula-1Mitchell took me to see his Moreton Bay Fig in Santa Paula.  I understand that.
I have relationships with trees too, and this one is amazing.
It was planted in 1879 — and yes, it is famous — and grows up higher than some I’ve seen, instead of sprawling like the one in Santa Barbara.  I had one I used to visit that was a short walk from my apartment, at the Hotel Miramar in Santa Monica.

Behind it is the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot.

Reprinted from a Santa Paula Chronicle column
August 4th, 1992 By Catherine Barringer:

The plaque under our wondrous Moreton Bay fig tree reads: “Moreton Bay Fig, July 4, 1879, Eden H. Orne. 1962 Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce Tree and Land Purchase.”
It has been almost 40 year since caring citizens organized to save this historic tree. These concerned Santa Paula residents formed a legal trust and named it The Citizens Memorial Park Trust. They were motivated by the possibility that the site, directly across from the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, might be used for commercial development….
Hard work, organization, dedication and generosity produced a successful campaign, which had collected $7,246.04 by February 19, 1962.  One half of “Lot #1, Block #56” was purchased March 5, 1962, and the citizens gave this small plot of land with the wonderful tree to the City of Santa Paula.  The remaining $246.04 was used to pay for printing, postage and a share of the taxes.  Information available indicates that in 1875 or 1876, a nurseryman brought a supply of these Ficus Macrophylla (Moreton Bay fig) to Ventura County from San Francisco in five-gallon cans. This tree is native to Australia, so there must be another wonderful story about the journey from Australia to America. One particular tree was planted by the Rev. Orne in 1879 to commemorate the birthdate of the late Cecelia Orne Miller, his beloved daughter. The Rev. Orne was an early-day Santa Paula preacher who lived across the street from our Southern Pacific Railroad Depot. Our fabulous tree is still a healthy tree with an indefinite lifespan – thanks to the many people who invested their time, energy, expertise, treasure and enthusiasm to save her. Santa Paula is blessed with so many trees to treasure!

“Memory is more indelible than ink.” Anita Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
“I think not….”  Me… why I journal!

Handbook Journal, Pentalic 2B woodless pencil,
Platinum Carbon Pen with waterproof cartridges.

w16-15-handbk-santa-paula-01-sq  w16-16-handbk-santa-paula-03-sq  w16-10-26-pentalic-la-cuesta-inn-sq  w16-9-22-pentalic-laguna-beach-days-of-yore-05-sq  w16-10-25-pentalic-san-louis-obispo-wine-02-SQ

 ©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back  to dkatiepowellart.

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
This entry was posted in architecture, art journal, drawing, ink painting, journal, landscape, memory, pen & ink, sketchbook and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to CA Trip: Mitchell’s Moreton Bay Fig

  1. I’ve seen the one in Balboa Park in San Diego I believe. The roots fascinate me.


    • Smaller ones are all over So Cal, and residents grieve when they are taken out. I will eventually try for a watercolor of this one…

      Liked by 1 person

      • I just ordered some M Graham watercolor paint and am so excited to try them. I’ve not been drawing or painting very much at all lately.


        • You are in San Fran? M.Graham has only one drawback — her paints are so creamy with the honey that some colors won’t dry quickly in the pans. Make sure you travel upright if you take them out of the studio…. Otherwise, hers are gorgeous!

          Liked by 1 person

          • I just got 8 tubes in the other day and did a quick chart. I’ve got to play with mixing them more, but a couple of the colors seem more opaque than my Lukas 1862, Turner, or Sennelier paints. The translucent ones though are just lovely.

            Thanks for that tip! I haven’t got brave enough to take any paints outside yet.


            • Of those, I am most familiar with Sennelier. I bought their pan set from Blicks because it was a great pan and Sennelier is a good paint. I like transparent paints so in the set I have paints I don’t care for — but that is okay… who knows when I will want opaque? I like several colors in Sennelier but find that Daniel Smith is great priced, and so is Holbein, and so I end up with one of those two usually. When will I get to see a painting? Have you joined any FB groups to post too? Want on invite?

              Liked by 1 person

              • I’m not on FB and don’t plan on joining.
                I haven’t posted anything I’ve painted anywhere but Instagram recently and the last painting/watercolor was in Dec. I shared some fish I painted.

                I bought two sets of 18 tubes 5mm Turner Artist Watercolor paints when they were on sale. I’ve already used one tube of yellow which surprised me! YELLOW! I used it to mix greens so I ended up just buying another 18 tube set b/c I was nearly out of ultra marine blue, and a couple of other colors. In the future if I buy those paints I’ll buy larger tubes of what I’m actually using a lot of.

                I bought 15mm tubes of the M Graham. Those I hope last me a long time!


                • I understand… I joined to find some High School friends and stay for the art friends!
                  Flickr is a good sharing place and there is none of the craziness of FB. And some groups that are inspiring! So far I’ve found Instagram frustrating but perhaps I haven’t get it yet….
                  I don’t know Turner at all…. How is the paint?

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • I’ve been on flickr since 2009 I think and used to love it. The community was great for years then Yahoo started messing with the way pages look and making something harder to get to and it’s gone down hill since. Less community more photo dumping. I still post there, but not as often.
                    I just don’t share many of my watercolor paintings there. Most are pretty messy and awful so I don’t share too many there or on WP either. 🙂

                    Turner Artist WC paint is pretty good paint. It’s what I bought when I started running out of my WN Cotman pan paints.
                    It’s transparent, and mixes really well, some are granulated, and it rewets and comes to life in my palette really well. I filled up my palette cups with paint and most of them cracked when they dried, but it works and blends back together once wet.

                    I’m not going to fill up the palette cups like it’s a tin box palette again. I’ll just put in a dot or daub of the colors I’m going to use going forward with it.
                    The set of 18 5mm tubes was just about $25 from Jerry’s Artorama really affordable, and they seem lightfast, but I’ve not done any testing. For a lifelong beginner the set is really good, and the colors selection in the set are really good…well I could do without the white and black, but the rest of the colors are nice.


                    • I may be following you in photos on Flickr….
                      Artists don’t dump as much but I get what you mean about photo dumps on Flickr…
                      As you replace colors make sure they are artist grade — WN Cotman is not, and it will make a difference in your paintings to have the richest colors. I also use less. And now that you are all about replacing instead of trying to build a palette to work from it will not be as painful at the checkout!

                      Liked by 1 person

  2. susanissima says:

    Now, that’s a tree! ❤


  3. loisajay says:

    I love the way you drew this, Kate. I tend to get too ‘sketchy’ with my pencil drawings. Too many lines instead of smooth flows like you have. You know what I mean? I like this lots.


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