Nature’s Decorations

By Greg Lecker Two grey squirrels frolic – chasing one another through the Japanese garden as I move into the woods near home demonstration garden.  In the dim morning light, American cranberrybush berries brighten a thicket of twigs seen against snow and dark evergreens. American Cranberrybush Berries I’m happy we’ve crossed over the solstice and…

Splashes of Color on the Wood Duck Trail

By Holly Einess A quick look at the Arboretum’s visitor brochure shows a number of trails I have yet to explore. The Wood Duck Trail, easily accessed just outside Oswald Visitor Center, invites me in. Criss-crossed vintage snowshoes hang on the sign at the trail’s entrance; footprints in the thin layer of snow let me…

Signs of Winter

By Mary Beth Pottratz Heavy winter clouds lighten gradually, first a stripe of blue in the distance, then a cotton-ball studded sky, giving way to pale blue and sunshine. With temperatures hovering around 30, an outdoor stroll is a welcome gift! Cotton Ball Sky The gardens, forest and prairie are a display of contrast, pattern…

Adding Laughter to the Soundscape

By Sydney Chandler At first, the landscape of fallen leaves is silent. Within a moment, patches of the forest floor begin to come alive. A patch of leaves rustles and twitches mysteriously. A sudden burst of movement, and a gray squirrel pops from the leaf litter! Comically, it looks around as if searching for playmates…