One of my favorite places to wander (that is a very short drive from the house in Kentucky) is Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. I especially love seeing how much it changes over the seasons.
The first time I visited was in late March, but we just recently took the twins' there for the first time over summer break. In California, we are used to our forests looking pretty much the same year-round, sure some lose a few leaves in autumn, and there are more wildflowers in bloom in the spring, but the changes in nature in this part of the country truly are something to see, as you'll see from my photographs below. I can't wait to go again late in the fall this year to see how much it's changed once more.
Just look at these comparison photographs. The first group are from Bent Twig Loop, which is a short hiking trail where you can spot lots of lizards, spider webs, squirrels, birds, butterflies, and if you are lucky you may spot a deer too.
These are the photos I took back in March ...
And these are the photos from summer break ...
You can see it's very brown, damp, and mossy back in March, and then so green and lush, but the little creek beds along the trail had dried up in the summer.
These couple of photos are from the old silos in the Sensory Garden.
I'm not sure which season I enjoyed visiting the forest during more. On the one hand the end of winter is just beautiful in it's own way, yes it's not green and lush, but you can see all of the newspring growth starting, you can hear the water trickling along the little creek beds, and the colors dotted among the bare trees are just beautiful.
On the other hand, the canopy of leaves on the trees, the green as far as the eye can see, and the butterflies, frogs, and dragonflies out really are a sight to see.
There is so much to see and do there that you can't possibly get around it in a day. Plus, the day we took the kids there was a special explorers educational program set up where the kids got to participate in a few fun activities and learn more about the wildlife in the area.
And don't forget to feed the turtles while you are there. Mike and I tried in March, but they were all perched up on a big rock ignoring us. When we went with the kids during summer break though at one point we had 12 vying for our attention, including the tiniest baby turtle. They have a food dispenser at the pond that takes quarters.
Make sure to check the hours of Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest before visiting, and don't forget to check their calendar of events too.
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