Nature Notes

Drawn to Water

By Sydney Chandler

We have an interesting relationship with water. It’s essential to our survival yet can be a powerful or even dangerous force. Water draws on our curiosity and prompts us to gaze at it, gather near it, and worry about its health. Water at the Arboretum is no exception to this draw.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPink Grapefruit Waterlily

In the Perennial Garden, preparations for a wedding ceremony were underway. The space was oriented to gather around the reflection pond full of blooming waterlilies. Water would serve as a backdrop for the gathering and celebration.


Nearby, a waterfall through the Dwarf Conifers is a great place for visitors to snap selfies and admire the bubbling brook below. Visitors pose with the goal of including the waterfall in their photo.


The brook flows into a small pond. Here, a relieved visitor shared his new knowledge: the pond features a thick– but thankfully healthy– layer of duckweed and watermeal. In this case, water served as a catalyst for new learning and connection between visitors. Even a frog popped up from the flora to join in the connection!


Next to the quiet pond, a dragonfly perches as if pausing to enjoy the view. In reality, it’s likely on the search for its next meal of flying insects. Many elements of the Arboretum gardens engage visitors, but water seems to prompt extra connection, draw on us to pause, and gives us a meditative space for connecting to nature. What water features draw your curiosity?

Sydney Chandler is a Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer.

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