Saturday, July 11, 2009

Plant Geek

I'm not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the way I became a plant geek. Probably when I was working in Toledo, and came across some Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), just growing in a wet are in our woods at the very urban park that I worked at. No one had planted it, it was just growing there, and it was a beautiful scarlet color.
And ever since, I've been amazed at how certain plants grow in certain places, and I admit I'm a sucker for color - I love colorful flowers.
Denver has a nice botanic garden. They also do a lot of education and are one of a handful of places that a person can get a certificate in botanical illustration. I took their intro course a few years ago and liked it a lot.
I had been down there a few years ago to meet with people about my research, but hadn't just visited, ever. So I hauled Mr W down there today. He was sort of lukewarm about it all, but I thought it was fabulous.

They're in the middle of a capital campaign, so they've got all this new construction and big plans for research and conservation of plants - really where my true interests lie as far as professional work goes. So I'm going to write up a letter of introduction, and send my CV down there in case they're looking for a population geneticist to come on board. You never know.

But they have these wonderful gardens, and lots of water features, which is so attractive on a hot day like today. I'm don't really care one way or the other about Japanese gardens, but theirs was this amazing respite of calm. Dark water with lilies and lotus on it, turtles, gravel, sculpted pines - it was so tranquil, I just wanted to sit there and do nothing for a long while.

Mr W and I talked a bit about living in a bigger city, where there was a lot of stuff to do. He liked the idea until I said, "well, you'd have to switch schools". But I added that his buddy would only be an hour away and that wasn't so much. Who knows, who knows.

So if you have a botanic garden near you that you haven't visited yet or for awhile, go visit and soak up the tranquility. I was so glad we went down and I'm looking forward to going back. I bought a "me plus 1" membership, so I can go back again and not have to worry about the admission fee. I did that too with our local science museum. The nice thing there is that it gets me into the Denver science museum for free as well. It's almost paid for itself - yea!!

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Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.