Monday, August 16, 2010

August 14, 2010: Washington - Kennilworth Aquatic Gardens, Botanical Gardens Conservatory

Mark loves water and all the creatures that live in it, so I decided that we should go to the Kennilworth Aquatic Gardens. It's along a relatively pristine stretch of the Potomac River, with a series of ponds featuring different varieties of water lilies, as well as boardwalks through wetlands with turtles and cranes. Many of the lilies were in bloom, making for a beautiful sight. Unfortunately we couldn't get close to most of them - the pathways between most of the ponds were flooded out with the recent heavy rains.

To get to the garden we took the subway to the east side of the city, and finally caught a glimpse of the notorious down-at-the-heels neighborhoods of Washington - a pretty stark contrast to the wealth and beauty of the tourist areas and the part of the city we're living in.

On our way back in to the city we stopped off at the Botanical Gardens so I could show Mark some of the highlights from the Botanical Gardens Conservatory (I was particularly excited to show him the 'sensitive' mimosa - its leaves fold inward when touched, or even when blown on strongly enough).

Photos: a bird standing in the flooded pathway of the waterlily ponds; a butterfly (one of many); a turtle resting on a giant lily leaf; a close-up of a waterlily flower (note the dried out seed head to the right - you've probably seen them before in those decorative dried plant mixes that are displayed in big bowls on your coffee table); Mark hides under a leaf; intricate flattened roots on the ground; the Potomac river; a crazy fungus in the woods

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