Saturday, February 25, 2012

Finding Flowers in the Winter

Today we headed for the Como Park Conservatory. It opened at 10 AM, so we waited at home until about 9:40, for I thought it wouldn't be any fun waiting in a cold parking lot. Much to my surprise when we got there, I found the parking lot full.
Conservatory Building -- some parts dating to 1914
We headed first for the area known as the North Garden. This has trees and plants we in Minnesota find in different ways. For example, there is the small tree from which we get allspice, but clearly in this state one buys allspice at the grocery store. This garden also has many beautiful orchids.

At one end there were a collection of red and pink flowers that caught my eye.
The above scene is so peaceful.

In a side room we found a wonderful collection of photos about bears, the work of Lyn Rogers the researcher responsible for the bear cam.  I learned a great deal about bears through these photos. Black bears are much more frightened of us than we are of them. With the movement into the bear habitat and the increase actually in the number of bears, more of us are living with bears around than we know. They are simply very good at hiding from us. And bears survived for thousands and thousands of years because they have the ability to climb trees. Anything that wanted to prey on them couldn't climb trees. And a bear cub is highly dependent upon food in the environment -- well duh! you may say, but their weight at the end of the first year of life may vary from 15- 160 pounds! And I always thought bears hibernated because of the cold, but they do this to avoid starvation. If there is food in the environment they will stay in the forest all winter.

We walked next to the Sunken Garden. This is always a beautiful place and often the place for wedding pictures.
Here's a closer view of some of the flowers.

At the end of the reflection pool I found some interesting views.

The one below shows the reflection of the roof.

The shop in the visitor center also provided something I'll use for English lessons this summer in Poland.  We had a lovely morning!

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