In perennially water challenged Los Angeles, succulets have always been a popular choice in landscapes but recently they have experienced a surge in popularity fueled by the latest trendsetting landscape designs. Interest in drought-tolerant plants was, and still is, on the rise, a response to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Cash for Grass program and Gov. Jerry Brown’s 25 percent mandate in the face of California’s historic drought. Not just collectors, but everyday folks are showing their affinity for cactuses and succulents by planting them in the yard, outdoor entertainment spaces and centerpieces designed to sit on the dining table. I happen to love the diversity and beauty of succulents and I know there are many readers with the same interest. Since we were visiting Studio City in Los Angeles last weekend, I had a chance to photograph some of the best specimens.
When I was in Alexandria, we visited the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, an ancient necropolis during Ptolomaic and Roman times. Due to the time period, many of the features of the catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa merge Roman, Ancient Macedonian, Greek and Egyptian cultural points; some statues are Egyptian in style, yet bear Roman clothes and hair style while other features share a similar style. The catacombs were named Kom El Shoqafa, meaning Mound of Shards, because the area used to contain a mound of shards of terra cotta which mostly consisted of jars and objects made of clay. These objects were left by those visiting the tombs, who would bring food and wine for their consumption during the visit. However, they did not wish to carry these containers home from this place of death so they would break them. At the time of the discovery, heaps of these broken plates were found.