Saturday, May 24, 2014

Spring Color Burst.

No trip through Wooster, Ohio is complete without a stop at Secrest Arboretum at the Ohio State University Agriculture Research Center.  It is filled with a wonderful selection of plants, albeit most are non-native.  That doesn't mean they are all bad. As long as a plant is not invasive and damaging to native habitats, we can still enjoy their beauty.  

Hot-poker orange azaleas are now in bloom.
 The colors in the azalea gardens were stunning! These florets were the same color as the flowers on Ohio's native Trumpet Vine. Unfortunately, azaleas don't feed the hummingbirds like Trumpet Vine.

A golden orange azalea imitates a sunset.
 The color variety was exciting!  Every turn offered a new color palate.

A white azalea sports subtle lemon accents.
 Even the white azalea was not just white.  It played along with some lemon pick-me-up.

Have a seat!
 Such an inviting bench, but we had too much to photograph to rest. This trip was an opportunity to enjoy the lovely surroundings and tune into our photography.  It was fun to work with flowers, light and play with the camera a bit. Everyone loves to see beautiful flower photos!

Hosta, Paul's Glory, one of my favorites.
 Hosta plants hold a special place in my heart.  I have many varieties of hosta at home, and can name them off as if they were my children.  My actual children thought that I was a bit obsessed.  However, they were never at a loss for a birthday gift!  Just buy me a new hosta.

Staghorn Sumac leaf - backlit.
Sumacs are a well-favored native plant, but this one may have crept uninvited into their display. It can escape notice now, but this fall when the leaves turn fire-engine red, it will have no place to hide.

We enjoyed the light-play on the leaflets.

A mini garden within the mega gardens.
 The gardens at Secrest go on and on.  It is a wonderful place to learn about trees and horticultural plants. Natural areas have their allure and certainly attract more wildlife, but sometimes it is just plain fun to visit an upscale garden.

Old fashioned white peonies in full bloom.
 Water was beading up on the leaves and pollinators were buzzing about.  There were plenty of photographic opportunities.

Mockingbird make light of our studies.
 While this trip was planned as a time to enjoy flowers, a Mockingbird entertained us with a wild array of calls.  He did a spot-on imitation of a Rock Wren.

Greg Miller enjoying a photography day.
But I wouldn't have known the Rock Wren call, were it not for fellow photographer (and expert birder) Greg Miller. We had fun trying to ID all the birds the "mocker" was imitating as we continued with our photography.

Greg is now leading trips with Wildside Tours, and you can join him on birding and camera trips. We have an awfully good time whenever we go out and you can enjoy a day with Greg, too.

 See Greg Miller Birding for more details on Greg's whereabouts, or go to to join Greater Mohican Audubon Society on one of their walks at Secrest Arboretum. The flowers put on quite a show!

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