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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Bartram's Garden

Way too much of interest today to share it all in one post. You'll see more from today on slow days in the future. To begin the day, Marie and I walked Rachel to work. This is just a Philadelphia sidewalk stroll, but it gets in a couple of miles before the day even begins.

In the afternoon, David took Marie and me to Bartram's Garden. This is a really neat place for botany freaks. But first, we parked at the end where we had to walk into the grounds on a trail along the Schuylkill River. The places to rest were these funky boat-prow platforms.

Philadelphia trail

Each one had a plaque with some tidbit of natural history.

plaque for fish identification

Then we arrived at the garden. John Bartram was a contemporary of Benjamin Franklin. He was a naturalist dedicated to discovering native plants of North America. He brought many species of trees to what is now the 45-acre public garden.

This is his house, built 1728-1741.

John Bartram house

I learned a bunch of new trees, and saw several trees that were the largest examples of a species I've ever encountered. Here's how one of those stories went. Dave was reading the brochure/map and he said, "I think that's the ginkgo over there."

I glanced up and said, "Nope, they don't get that large. At least, I've never seen one that large." Then I looked up at the bare twigs and said, "Well, maybe."

We walked around to find the marker, and discovered that it's the oldest known Ginkgo in North America. Yup, quite a bit larger than any I've seen!

largest ginkgo tree in North America

Bare ginkgo twigs.

ginkgo twigs

One truly awesome event was that we watched a young red-tail hawk picking away at something on the ground.

red tail hawk

Eventually it pulled it up so we could see- it had killed a garter snake. The strange and slightly sad part is that the bird didn't eat it. It just played for a while and then flew away. We didn't scare the bird away. I don't mind that hawks have to eat, but it seemed a waste to just leave the dead snake.

red tail hawk eating a snake

Anyway, there were a few things in bloom. We saw other large and/or interesting trees. I learned a TON. You know that any day I learn a new plant is a good one. I'm in botany heaven this week.

Total miles walked for the day, probably around 7. A piece of the Riverwalk, Bertram's Mile, and sidewalks.

See Intro to Philadelphia Flower Show


Ann said...

I like the looks of that house. The Ginkgo isn't a tree I've ever seen before. That hawk is a beauty.

The Furry Gnome said...

Botany heaven must be fun!

Tony Laplume said...

By sheer coincidence I just read about William Bartram (John's son) in Laura Groff's Florida.

The Oceanside Animals said...

Lulu: "Our Dada says he misread this post title at first and thought it said 'Batman's Garden'."
Chaplin: "I wonder what Batman's Garden would look like."
Charlee: "Well it would probably be in a cave."
Chaplin: "And full of night-blooming plants."
Charlee: "With a sign 'No Jokers Allowed'."
Lulu: "How do you know so much about Batman? Did Dennis meet him?"
Chaplin: "Surprisingly enough, no."

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