Hints of Autumn Fruit

By Greg Lecker Exploring the woodland this morning, the relative scarcity of colorful flowers leads me to look more carefully.  Here and there I discover small developing fruits.  The first hangs under the plant. Yellow Wood Poppy Celandine or yellow wood poppy as attractive lobed leaves topped with four-petaled yellow flowers.  Its fruit develops in…

Flowers (and more) in the Wild Gardens

By Holly Einess It’s a cool, overcast, breezy day; rather than my usual longer hike on one of the East Side Trails I decide to hit the wildflower garden and the garden for wildlife. The spring wildflowers are, of course, long gone, as are the lady’s slippers, but I am delighted to find a whole…

Summer Bounty

By Mary Beth Pottratz Huge cannas and bright begonias festoon the walks and gardens at the Arboretum. But to me, the five tiny white petals of flowering spurge whirling around its stem and clusters of wild quinine that resemble miniature heads of cauliflower are far more intriguing. Wild quinine White prairie clover is puffy with…

Yellow Pollen Pants

By Sydney Chandler After the recent rainy streak, the Arboretum buzzes with activity. The buzzing includes human traffic as well as pollinators who travel from flower to flower in an excited frenzy. Following these pollinators on their travels prompts exploration into the pollination process. Butterfly visits an attractive flower Visitors to the Arboretum are lucky…

Exploring dis-a-re- (Disarray)

By Greg Lecker This hazy, sunny morning I’m walking around Green Heron Pond.  Last month’s study of duckweed and watermeal covering an adjacent smaller pond spurred me to think about the apparent disarray we find at first glance in nature.  I propose a compound word, “dis-a-re-”  to encompass complex themes ranging from dismissal, disturbance, and…

Ridge Trail Reflections

By Holly Einess The day promises to be a hot one so I set off early along Ridge Trail. I hear a number of different birds singing and calling—robin, common yellowthroat, catbird, red-winged blackbird, chickadee—and see several downy woodpeckers, one of them a plump juvenile with characteristic red feathering on the top of its head….

Summer Orchids

By Mary Beth Pottratz Yellow-tipped stamens dangle like pom-poms from tall meadow rue plants. Tall Meadow Rue White beardtongue flowers trumpet their existence. The colors of bush honeysuckle leaves range from green to purples all summer long. Right now they are flowering, in tiny bursts of yellow that take on reddish orange highlights as they…

Olfactory Outings

By Sydney Chandler A long inhale . . . traces of basil, rosemary, and thyme swirl into visitors’ nostrils. For some, these scents may trigger emotional responses, pull up vivid memories, or prompt reflection on applications of these plants. Golden Lemon Thyme The Fragrant Herb Garden is home to an incredible variety of herbs and…

What a Wonderful….Watery….World

By Greg Lecker A fine morning to be out, so says a parenting pair of Canada geese and their goslings.  The sun has just cleared the tree-line ringing the still pond between the visitor center and Green Heron Pond. Dawn on Green Carpet The glare of sunlight grazes a magic green carpet.  Magic carpet indeed! …

Spring in Full Swing

By Holly Einess When I was last at the Arboretum in early April I snowshoed through the white landscape, bright sun reflecting off the snow and hurting my eyes. What a different scene is before me today as I set off in shorts and sandals into a lush green landscape dotted with splashes of color….