Summer at home in Daisy Hill

Friday, September 27, 2013

LA BREA TAR PITS LA

When I was in LA last week my daughter, Sonya, managed to take us to the Tar Pits before she went to work. She did a wonderful job of showing us around LA as well as looking after the children and going to work. Luckily she had a late start and she had Bernie around to help.

The Tar Pits are lakes of bubbling asphalt and methane found in the heart of LA. They have been a landmark since before the spanish explorers. Indians used the tar to waterproof their baskets and boats. Later it became part of a Spanish land grant called Rancho La Brea (meaning tar/pitch). Now it is surrounded by the commercial centre of LA.

Early settlers used the tar to waterproof the roofs of their adobe houses. They also found bones in the tar but thought they were of cattle. However, in 1905 scientists began looking more closely at the bones and discovered it was one of the richest Ice Age fossil deposits in the world.

It is still an ongoing working site for paleontologists, where 3.5 million fossils have been found and still counting.
 Lakes of bubbling asphalt and methane.
 The Pits are in parkland called Hancock park. It was land owned by George A Hancock and he donated it to LA County.

 In the park is the Page Museum, which houses many fossil exhibits. The museum was built and designed by George C Page a self made millionaire and philanthropist.

 Before we went into the museum, 'mommy' gives the boys a snack.

 It is a great museum with not only bones but life size models of the prehistoric animals that have been found on this site. They are moving and roaring animals which captivates the little ones. This mammoth was rearing its head and trumpeting. Then Banjo did the cutest thing. He put his two hands on his forehead and stuck out his forefingers and bent his head up and down and roared, imitating the mammoth. I missed the photo opportunity.

When we came to the Sabre Toothed Cat attacking the Ground Sloth, with much roaring and grappling, Fox needed the reassurance of Aunty Carol that it wasn't real.

 


 Paleontologsts at work

 We left the museum and walked through the park to see some working pits. We passed a busker where Banjo met a banjo player. He loved the music and started to dance.

One of the pits where bones are still being found.
          

26 comments:

  1. pretty neat area and exhibits, too.

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  2. Do the tar pits smell like the tar road workers use? If so, the smell must spread around a bit.

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  3. Would you believe I've never been to this place, despite living in the area for almost 30 years. I learned a lot more from reading your blog than I even knew before. Sometimes I wonder if there are fossils buried deep below my own little piece of Los Angeles County. I wouldn't be surprised. Interesting to think about.

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  4. I remember when we went there thinking how amazing that this is right in the middle of Los Angeles. I'm not sure the museum was there then...been so long ago I might have forgotten...

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  5. I can tell you Little Leo would love that mammoth, I have never heard of the Tar Pits they do sound bloody interesting though.

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  6. Who would have thought they were lakes of asphalt and methane .... they look so blue and scenic. Oh my! those two boys have grown but still very cute .... I'm sure you treasured every moment with them.

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  7. Thanks, Diane! I've heard of the tar pits, but had no idea they were smack bang in the middle of "civilisation".

    Sounds like a fascinating place to spend a day with two gorgeous little tackers :)

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  8. Diane, what a neat place to visit. The mammoth is cool. It is amazing they are still finding bones. Your grandchildren are so cute, I love the shot of Banjo and the man playing the banjo. Thanks for sharing your visit. Have a great weekend!

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  9. Great photos Diane, sweet ones with the grands. I have been in LA a few times but never thought to go here. If ever we get there again we will have to check it out. The museum looks really interesting.

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  10. what a fun family day and wonderful experience for two little boys

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  11. That is a very special post you have. Had never heard about those Tar Pits. Strange that bubbling water in a city. Banjo with the banjo is very cute.

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  12. I have heard of tar pits and what they were used for, but had no idea they had them in LA... they are pretty and i would not have thought they would be. i would love that museum...

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  13. Those pits are interesting as I have never heard of them.
    Your photos are lovely.

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  14. Very interesting! I live in the US and have certainly been in LA, but had to learn about this from you. Very interesting!

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  15. That must have been an interesting place for the kids !
    I see you are back, I am a little late with blog reading, I had my man in hospital !

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  16. I love that place! So interesting. Although there weren't any moving animals when I was there last. Sounds like I need to go again.

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  17. such a lovely place to spend a day.
    very interesting, dianne. it sure looks like a fun family day.
    such beautiful exhibits, too.

    have a lovely weekend!

    xx

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  18. I've never heard of these kind of pits. I wander if they occur in other parts of the world.

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  19. I didn't know there was a museum.
    I can't believe Banjo is so big already. Seems like you were just there for his birth. :)

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  20. What an interesting place! I bet the boys loved it! I can't believe how fast they are growing!!

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  21. Aw so sweet Banjo is, it would be so adorable to see him dance.

    The tar pits sure look out of place against the offices, or the offices look out of place next to the tar pits.

    The museum looks interesting. Sounds and looks like you had an amazing time in the States, good on ya to get away for a while.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  22. Looks like a fun place to visit.

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  23. I've heard of the tar pits before but didn't imagine them so blue and attractive. Kind of wondering about the smell of asphalt and methane, though. Such sweet little boys!

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  24. I try to get to the tar pits each time I visit LA. If you ever get the chance, try to see the Getty Museum. It's an amazing place. It's free but you need a reservation. It's worth the trouble, in my humble opinion.

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  25. It is fun to see posts from you in my 'neck of the woods.' I grew up in southern Calif and I'm enjoying catching up with your blog and seeing some of the places I grew up seeing!

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  26. I just caught up with your LA blogs, Diane. It looks like you had a lot of fun with your adorable grandsons, and daughters and son-in-law and also did some nice touring of the sights in the area! I never heard of the tar pits and found your post to be very interesting!

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