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March 10th, 2011

Morris Arboretum part 3, the Fernery

It’s springtime in the Fernery at the Morris Arboretum. I ducked into the Fernery to escape the bright sunlight before I finished my witch hazel tour.

01Fernery

Normally, I’d take the greenhouse/indoor photos first, but I was really there for the witch hazel. It’s hard to go from cold and dry to humid and warm, and I needed to walk around for awhile to let my camera acclimate. After a mix of impatience (remember I had two sweaters and my wool coat with me) and inspiration, I started to take foggy photos while my camera body warmed up.

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Lots of people came in and out while I was taking my photos. It’s too bad they passed by so quickly; they completely missed out on all the new growth. Diane and Cheryl were working in the greenhouse, and they showed me all kinds of hidden worlds. Then I went off and wandered on my own. When I stood up from taking this shot, I heard one of them say, “You’re smiling! I love when people make their own discoveries in here!”

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02RabbitFern

This rabbit’s foot fern is one of my favorites. It looks like something out of Pan’s Labyrinth, or The Muppet Show. I was waiting for some part of the plant to open its eyes, sigh, and lumber away from my incessant picture taking. I was also wishing I was about a foot taller so I could get closer to the plant. This one is growing over the top of a little passageway that houses a Buddha statue and many plants.

06bud
Warm air, gliding koi, Buddha, what’s not to love about this Fernery? I think I’m lucky there were no benches, or I would’ve been tempted to take a long winter’s nap.

03bearFern

The bear paw fern

04newgrowth

Normally I don’t care for direct sun and harsh shadow in a photo, but I really loved the dark black shadows with the fresh green leaves. And who can resist the beauty of backlighting? There are a lot of red ferns making an appearance. I learned that like the tree outside my office window, all the red parts of these ferns are new growth. Everything is uncurling and unfolding and waking up. I guess I went to the arboretum so I could start to wake up, too.05ferns

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February 23rd, 2011

Morris Arboretum part 1, Bloom Quest

The witch hazels are in bloom at the Morris Arboretum. I’ll have to edit my photos tomorrow or later in the week. In the meantime, here is another sign that it’s almost spring. And apologies to the kindly Arboretum walker who thought I’d collapsed on the pavement when I was stretched out photographing this little bloom. “THANK YOU for moving,” she said. Nancy and I think it is winter aconite (Eranthis).
110223_blooma

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February 10th, 2011

Field Trip!

Every now and then the Organic Gardening team takes a little field trip. Today we’re going on a field trip, to see the film Carbon Nation. I love the tag line.  “A climate change solutions movie (that doesn’t even care if you believe in climate change.) The premiere is tonight at Lincoln Center, and there will be a Q&A with the director after the film. I’m sure we’ll all have more to say after we get back, but if you can’t wait, check out the Carbon Nation website, you can find a list of action items. You can also get information on arranging a screening in your town.

I’ll be back next week with more pictures or a longer entry. In the meantime, if you are one of my relatives who faithfully reads this blog, you can see me briefly appear in a Rodale.com video about organic chocolate. Now I’m going to get ready for the big premiere.

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