The end of the first week in June seemed to me like a perfect time for a visit to Holden Arboretum. My friends Lisa and Lorna agreed to join me, so we set a date and began looking forward to our semi-annual trail walk at Holden.
The morning arrived with unseasonably cool temperatures and the threat of rain, but we weren’t deterred. Meeting at the Visitors’ Center, we meandered along the trail past Lotus Pond. If the golden willow, pictured below, looks familiar, you probably remember that it is one of my favorite trees along the trail, one I can’t pass by without stopping to take a picture, or two or three.
Reaching the entrance to the rhododendron garden, we paused long enough to soak in the beauty of the landscape, and to take a quick picture of a black squirrel sitting in front of a tall rhododendron. Black squirrels are a bit of an anomaly, and they have an interesting history. In 2011 Kent State University (in nearby Kent Ohio) celebrated 50 years since the first black squirrels, transported from Canada, were released on their campus. In that 50 years the squirrels have become something of an icon on the northeast Ohio campus (If interested, you can read more about the furry rodents here).
On down the trail, we continued through the rhododendron garden to Hourglass Pond where we stopped to enjoy the view from a bench our friend Margaret has dedicated to the memory of her husband Don. We also took a close look at the cypress trees with their strange “knees” that grow on the edge of the pond. If you’ve never encountered cypress knees, you can see the strange protruding roots in the pictures below. Cypress trees favor a very moist environment, and that’s where we saw these knees. Look at the base of the trees, and you will see them too.
At this point, we agreed it was almost time for lunch, so I took one more picture of Hourglass Pond before we turned back to the visitors’ center, following the round-about trail along the perimeter of Corning Lake, snapping pictures as we went.
To top off the afternoon, we enjoyed our bag lunches on the back patio of the visitors’ center. It definitely hadn’t been the sunny day in June we expected when we made our plans to meet at the Arboretum, but Holden never disappoints, and it certainly didn’t this time.