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Monday, August 15, 2011

Back from my travels

Double Rainbow with supernumerary bands, Nebraska

It's good to get back to my garden again!

I was in France and all across the United States over the past three weeks, so didn't have much to post about my garden. I was a bit worried, in fact, since local temperatures have been up over 100 degrees Fahrenheit several times, and consistently above 90 degrees.

Thankfully I had someone who could check in on my fish and water levels, and everything is thriving (I'd had visions of coming home to sun-baked black plastic tanks and dessicated remains of plants and fish...).

There were some garden-related points of interest during my travels, aside from the amazing double rainbow with supernumerary bands (extra inner rainbows) we saw while driving across Nebraska:

  • Notre Dame Gardens - I had the chance to visit Paris while in France, and quite enjoyed the garden around the famous cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. As always, it's fascinating to realize that Paris is further north than any point in the state of Maine.
  • UW Botanic Gardens and Center for Urban Agriculture - From Paris, I flew to Seattle for several more perfect days. Locals tell me that Seattle is usually overcast and wet, so the perfect weather was a rare treat. The Center for Urban Agriculture is lovely, and there are several walking tours one can take of the surrounding Botanical Gardens. If you can't visit in person, you can always listen to the online audio tours.
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park - I was surprised to learn that this is America’s most visited national park, with over 9 million visitors each year. This part of the southern Appalachian mountains was located just south of the ice cap during the most recent ice age, so animals and plants from more northerly regions migrated to these mountains. When the ice receded, many of the species remained in ecological niches on the mountain slopes. This area is the most biologically diverse of any similar-sized temperate area, with upwards of 100,000 species of plants, animals, and invertebrates believed to live within the park's borders.

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