Mt Pleasant Field Trips

Schools didn’t end until June 21st in our area so the Howard County Conservancy spring field trips were still happening into mid-June! As usual, I volunteered for field trips at both Mt Pleasant and Belmont. Today I’ll share some pictures I gleaned from before the school buses arrive at Mt. Pleasant….tomorrow I’ll do the same for Belmont.

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In late May – I noticed how lush everything was looking: the sweetbay magnolias, the blue flags, peonies, the new plantings around the flower pot people, and the trees along the gravel road toward Montjoy Barn.

By early June the flowers in the Honors Garden, like the columbines, were blooming.

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But the big draw of the Honors Garden – for me and for the children on field trips – were the green frogs in the pool. I would talk to the students before we came near the garden about walking very quietly…not talking…as we approached the pool so that we would see frogs. And I challenged them to find more than 4 frogs (or however many had been seen with my previous group). One group claimed to see 7…but I only saw 6. The pictures in the slide slow below were taken over several mornings before the buses arrived. Green frogs sound a little like a rubber band being strummed. It was fun to share the sights and sounds of the frogs with my hiking groups!

Brookside – May 2019

I’m just now getting around to posting some pictures I took at Brookside Gardens in May: the butterfly exhibit, the conservatory – and everything blooming outdoors. So many subject to photograph – flowers, immature seed pods, seeds, leaves, garden furniture and fountains….peonies, poppies, magnolias, alliums, maples, dogwood…what’s not to like. Enjoy the big slideshow!

The side of the conservatory not used for the butterfly exhibit always has interesting plants in bloom – or photo worthy in other ways (like giant water droplets on green leaves).

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The door that volunteers and staff use is surrounded by greenery. Somehow it seems bigger this year.

I arrive 15 minutes before my shift in the butterfly exhibit. Sometimes I have a few minutes between the orientation and the arrival of the first visitors arriving to photograph butterflies.

May is a big month in the gardens. I have a series of Brookside Gardens rose pictures that I’m saving for another post.

Blooming Pathways

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During the same walk where we saw tulips near the end of their time in the Brookside Gardens, We noticed a lot of other spring finery along the pathways.

I always look at the ginkgo tree near the conservatory; the leaves are unfurling, and the mail flowers are abundant. Multiple leaves come out from a single bud, so they look like clumps early in the season. As the leaves get larger the clumps overlap and are not as obvious.

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 The azaleas are beginning to bloom. Bushes peak at different times. Some were still just buds last week. The flowers that are a mix of white and deep pink are probably my favorites.

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There was a peony near the path…. lovely from every angle.

Dogwoods are blooming too. The tree is one of my favorites. We had a dogwood in our yard when we first moved to the east coast 35 years ago; that’s when I really learned about the tree…observing it throughout the year. The trees in our area now survived the disease that wiped out many of the trees about 10 years ago….and they are blooming robustly this year.

So -  the blooms will fade, and their will be even more abundant greens – all shades…deepening into the richness of summer.