Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday at the Arboretum

 For a walk today on this beautiful Sunday we took a picnic and walked the woods and meadows of US National Arboretum. We parked in the lot by the collection of State's trees and headed down an abandon roadway into a meadow at the edge of a wood and soon up the hill into the forest.

 Spotted off in the woods an orange lichen growing like a big flower on the forest floor and the soft green mosses were smooth and velvety. Sassafras one of our favorites to identify as kids, due to the odd shape leaves and the bright red orange color that comes early in late summer known also for digging the roots to make a tea. Then near that was a dogwood turning red too.

Snake root flowers white at the edge of the forest floor 

 Red viburnum berries were spectacularly red and the leaves had great visual texture.
White wood asters were plentiful and blooming
 The pretty dark green leaves of spotted wintergreen or dragon's tongue were going to seed in a bed of fern like moss. 
We make our way to the visitors center to sit down and enjoy our picnic sandwiches and cold ice water and a break at the necessary room. From there we headed out to the formal knot garden and sniffed a few leaves of scented sages and geraniums. Admired the orange rose hips and then on to the view of the big meadow with the Capitol columns 

Children have lots of room to run and play here safely as you can see these three toddlers were making the most of the open space. parents were nearby under a big shade tree on a blanket relaxing with their picnic baskets. 

The sun was warm but not too hot and the air was too. It was a lovely two hour visit and I look forward to seeing the leaves on all those great trees turn in the coming weekends of autumn.

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