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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Checking Out Baltimore

The Cylburn Arboretum Visitor Center

Today Kirk took me to the Cylburn Arboretum. It was a great day for a nature walk - the air was cool, not rainy as the weatherman predicted, and delightfully breezy. I figured it was a good opportunity to learn some eastern trees. My camera is dead, dead, dead, but happily, Kirk was sweet enough to loan me his new camera, so let the photo taking commence!

I never saw a Paw Paw Tree before & this one had fruit!

I trotted off chasing some red and fawn tinted girly Cardinal birds, and found this amazing female Ginko Biloba tree - it's female and has fruit. Had NO clue Ginkos can be male or female. I tried the fruit which was vile. Of course I made Kirk try it, & he said it wasn't too bad. It has the scent of rotted fruit and... I kid you not... volmit! Strange stuff.

Female Ginko Tree with stinky, nasty & edible fruit

Kirk wandered down to a bog which was heavily tree covered and there were beautiful purple wildflowers I haven't ID'd yet. A tree trunk looked as if it was carved with different figures - it reminded Kirk of the Tree of Life in Disneyworld.

Click for better view of arty Bog Stump

I did a fair amount of butterfly chasing and managed a few photos of a Buckeye Butterfly, which is also found in California. What caught my eye was a 'mystery' insect with pop-art colors that showed up on the left of the photo.

Buckeye Butterfly and its color-coordinated
buddy, the 'Mystery Insect' on the left

Mystery Insect Close-up

Later I found out the I.D. of the mystery insect is a mystery moth; an Ailanthus Webworm Moth. An Ailanthus is a tree. Famously it's the tree species touted in the book, "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn". The Ailanthus Webworm is a pretty little moth, that rolls its wings, giving it more the look of a fancy beetle -than a moth.

Cylburn Mansion

Stained Glass Wreath over mansion entryway

We briefly toured the Cylburn Mansion. I particularly enjoyed a room with watercolors of Maryland's wildflowers.

Kirk examines the wildflower watercolors

All the mansion floors were highly decorative parquet. There were also several marble fireplaces that made me want to light them up and bask in their glow.

This flooring it so beautiful! I'd love to know the woods used for it.

Marble Fireplace in attrium room

After the mansion, we strolled by the rose garden and the 'demo' gardens that show what those with green thumbs can accompish. Kirk says my nephew in law Avon has a green thumb. Though my mother's was green, mine is uh... wilted.

The Maryland 'demo' Gardens

Kirk strolling past one of several cute little gardens

We had lunch at a beautiful Whole Foods (Whole Paycheck). The building was stone and I bet it was at least 100 years old.

Whole Paycheck... I mean, Whole Foods at lunch time

After lunch we picked up James Allen at his daycare. It's right adjoined to the very church where Kirk & Nicole were married. The building is the second oldest Baptist Church in the country and was recently given Historical Landmark Status.

Union Baptist Church - where Kirk & Nicole Married

New dedication Plaque at Front of Union Baptist Church

James' Day Care next to the Church

Cool side note is across the street from the church is the project that was featured in the HBO series - the Wire.

The 'Hood' featured on HBO's 'The Wire'

Next at my request we visited Baltimore's Washington Monument which predates the monument in nearby Washington D.C.

Baltimore's Monument to George Washington

La Fayette statue

There were all sorts of parks nearby, and great little metal statues. Here's James posing for me at a cool pool with a posing Nyad. Isn't he sweet?

James in the Nyad Fountain

All in all it was a nice day, romping around and seeing the sights of Baltimore with my nephew and nephewlette. Why does Maryland have to be so far from California - yeah - I know - all those darned other states between the two. *sigh*

1 comment:

  1. Kinko trees and berry trees and apple trees continue to line the streets of brooklyn. Bet ya didnt know that.

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