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.