Walking in the meadow is the opposite of strolling down the flower walk at Longwood. The flower walk fairly screams (in a lovely voice, of course) for you to pay attention. In the meadow the vast fields and expansive sky overwhelm everything. If you want to see what’s happening, you have to keep your eyes peeled. A good photographer helps, too! Without D’s photo above, I might have missed those three tiny blossoms.
Ditto for this unusual display:
Instead of going up through the middle of the meadow, we decided to take a longer walk to a forested area. It’s full of birch trees, has a stream flowing through it, and lower temperatures than the open meadow.
The first photo below features a lovely grassy path. The second is an old farm house converted into an historical museum about this land and its uses over the years. We didn’t walk that far this time. If you visit Longwood, a small tram makes regular trips back and forth to the museum. It’s well worth a visit. Air conditioned, with restrooms.
As we descend toward the birch tree forest, the path looks a bit like a washed out gulley. Even so, the little butterfly didn’t mind! I think it’s a Painted Lady. In the third photo we’re in the wooded area, standing on a small bridge, looking down at mud and debris left over from spring rains.
Below are twisted roots of a tree just beside the creek. They’ve ventured into the water. In the second photo, taken from the opposite side of the bridge, water is flowing downhill over rock formations. Though you can’t see them, hungry mosquitoes are in feast mode! We didn’t linger.
We passed numerous bird houses, with or without roof-top gardens; some with occupants. The two birds below are swallows.
At the top of the meadow this bee hotel had already hatched most of its occupants. A nearby sign explained all.
The meadow has several shaded places to sit down and rest a bit, some fancier than others. Here’s my favorite top-of-the-meadow resting spot. We’re beneath large old shade trees, looking out at the view.
Here are examples of what we saw on the way downhill to the formal gardens, plus a look back at the museum on the far side of the meadow. Don’t miss that juicy grub in the first photo!
Every time we visit Longwood, I get teary when we reach the meadow. Partly because walking in it with D has been part of my recovery from whatever ailed me over the last several years. I remember when it was just a big piece of land, not open as a garden for visitors. Now, every time we leave I’m grateful for one more opportunity to just be there.
As always, thanks for coming along. I hope you enjoy some healing beauty in your life today, along with the other stuff.
©Elouise Renich Fraser, 26 June 2019
Photos taken by DAFraser, 12 June 2019, Longwood Gardens Meadow