Monday, January 28, 2013

The path never Meadowlark Gardens

(Please click on the above link to visit their home page and please feel free to enlarge any of the photos)

There was still some snow on the ground but always when we get outside and go places, no matter the weather - yes, extreme conditions aside - we enjoy walking.  Most of the trails at the gardens were clear, and there were only a few shady spots where you had to take a little care.  

These photos are from the path we have never taken, as mentioned in my previous post.  I think we have walked every other path in the garden but this one.  I have Gregg to thank as I had stopped to take some shots of a Mockingbird hungrily feeding on berries.  When I looked up Gregg was nowhere in sight.  I really wanted that photo of the bird with a berry in its mouth (no I didn't get it, more on that another day).  We have an unwritten code, if the other is interested in a particular photo we move on, just as long as we are within calling distance.  We basically had the place to ourselves and I didn't think it would be unnerving to others if I shouted Gregg's name.  I heard his answering call down the path never taken. and followed it to find him taking photos at the side of another pond.  It was smaller than the main one we know so well, frozen over with a very thin layer of ice, but apparently strong enough for water fowl to make their way across.  Their tracks were everywhere.

Of course, Robert Frost's poem came to mind, one of my favorites, "The Road Not Taken", so please indulge me if I repeat it as I am sure it is on this blog elsewhere.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden back.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

We spotted the Adirondack chairs on the other side and they were waiting just for us.  There was no one else to enjoy them.....

and they were saying "Come on over and sit for spell", an open invitation to do just that.

The garden isn't just taking care of the birds, there were other nesting boxes, this one for bees.  The sign reads, "Native Bee House.....our native bees are very efficient pollinators, but need healthy nesting sites to thrive.  This native bee nesting box is designed to fill their needs.  You may notice several of these located throughout the gardens in our effort to support our native bees."  The first time I ever saw one was located near the visitors center.

Here she comes, Gregg likes to take candid shots of me all along our walk.....

as do I him.  Those chairs are very comfortable to sit in, this is the first time I have tried an Adirondack chair, that I can remember anyhow.

It was too cold to sit for a great length of time but the few minutes we had was spent looking across  to the other side of the pond, where we had just come from.  The air was fresh and yes nippy but absolutely glorious!

At the side of the platform there was a sample nesting box for ducks......

two sides covered in plexiglass for viewing.

The duck box made a great tripod for our self timer.

Gregg, whose eyesight is much better than mine, pointed me in the direction of a bird high up in the tree.  This was the closest I could get to him.

He seemed very interested in those bright little berries.  I'm thinking a male Northern Flicker, what do you think?

The photos in today's post were taken by both Gregg and me.  Part of Gregg's interest in photography is finding the patterns in nature, which I think is great because he has opened my eyes to such things.

He often sees things that I don't as my interest is more for taking pictures of wildlife, but I do love to look at his shots when we get home.  It's really nice to get his perspective on things.

So there you go, that's our walk from the path we have never taken before.  More photos on the rest of our walk later.


  1. definitely a flicker. loved the scene with the adirondack chairs with the browns in the backdrop. and a bee nest box is a new thing to me!

  2. Fantastic photos ! I love the photo of you both on the trail ! Papa and I love going on nature trail walks to, it is so wonderful to be out with nature and in the fresh air ! Thanks for sharing and taking us along ! Have a good evening !

  3. AH! It's so fun to take a new path and find so many lovely surprises! I would dearly love to get that close to a Northern flicker! Very cool.

  4. Hi Denise...I love that poem by Frost, and have for a very long time!
    Awesome post love your sharing this place with us!!
    Flicker yes!!

  5. That's a very pretty photo of you, Denise. Gregg has a good eye!

  6. Air is fun to go exploring new paths and much nicer when you have someone to share the experience with, Denise.

  7. I'm so amazed you were able to get such great shots of the bird. I've never seen anything like it before. What fun to just sit and admire the winter scene. A mug of hot chocolate would have helped though.

  8. Taking a new path is good, so much more to see and appreciate. I could have spent hours in those chairs, watching, thinking and deliberating.

  9. Another place I need to discover when I'm back there again. Springtime would be beautiful. I've yet to make the cherry blossoms at the right time in downtown DC.

  10. It's good to explore and your never-before-taken path was delightful.

  11. What a beautiful place! I would LOVE to walk there!

  12. What a fabulous series of shots. I love sun on snow and find it very uplifting.

  13. What a marvelous place for a walk any time of the year. I'm glad Gregg wandered in that direction. I enjoyed your candid photos of each other.

  14. I like the name of the gardens. It makes me think of Summer days and no doubt there's much to see during different seasons. It must be nice to have a fellow photographer with you. My husband
    isn't, but is very patient when we go on walks together and I dawdle behind!

  15. I love to be the first footprints in an area.I think you found a new favorite place to be.