The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Day In The Morris Arboretum

Established 125 years ago, the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, in Chestnut Hill, PA is one of the most gorgeous gardens on the East Coast.  It is never the same garden twice, which is always fun, and even when you think you've seen it all, there is always more to see!

One of my favorite spots is Out On A Limb canopy walk that gives you a bird's eye view of the forest.  When we were there, kids were running up and down the walkway (it makes a great sound!) and then venturing into the Squirrel's Nest, which is like a big stable hammock suspended over the forest floor.

There is also a woven bird's nest, complete with 3 giant Robin's eggs on which to perch and view the tree tops.  Out On A Limb had me reminiscing about the tree houses and forts we built as children, inspired no doubt by Swiss Family Robinson.  (Sure, I would still love to live in a tree, it's on the "Bucket List".)

The Fernery, a small Victorian-style sunken green house is home to hundreds of ancient ferns, tucked into all sorts of places.  Spending a little time in The Fernery makes you feel as if you're back in the age of dinosaurs, and if you look carefully, you might just see a really is in there, my husband saw it. Look closely!

Working cats are popular at public gardens: for a meal and a place to call Home, half-feral, and not your ordinary lap cat, they keep the rodent population in check.  They also function as moving statuary.  
This cat was stalking a groundhog that was as large as a bulldog, and completely ignored me...just doing his job.

The Morris also has a really funky little railway system that winds through gardens and alpine scenes.  You never know which trains will be on the tracks, that's up to the whim of the "conductor", but it's always a blast to watch commuter trains, cargo trains and the monorail zip around, disappear into tunnels and re-appear later with the sound of the train whistle.  
All the buildings in the village are made of organic materials, and they're really cleverly done.  Never mind that some of them resemble Frodo's Shire....the experience is really fun, and you don't have to be a kid to enjoy it.

Buddha in The Fernery cave.  His wealth is measured in moss.

An Adirondack chair decked out with rock garden arms.

Check it out sometime! It's just a great place to spend a little time outdoors and enjoy trees, flowers & tons of birds.  A great place for little ones too, and as soon as my granddaughter visits for an extended time, we'll head to the Arboretum!  I can't wait!

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