Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Morton Arboretum Field Trip

Let's go on a field trip! Today we are going to Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL. Morton Arboretum is a nature Disneyland for grown ups and kids, more for grown ups though. It is one of my all time favorite places. If you're in the area you must dedicate a whole day to enjoy all 1,700 acres of nature goodness. You will also have to shell out $9 each adult at the gates, unless you're a member. Believe me, it's worth it.

Brief History of Morton Arboretum:
Joy Morton founded the arboretum in 1922, it was his family's land.
You know the name Morton, from Morton Salt
Remember the little girl with the umbrella and salt pouring out??? That's the company.
Joy's father is J. Sterling Morton the founder of Arbor Day (1872)

Points of Interest:
West side
Four Seasons Garden, France Garden, Wild Garden, Sterling Pond, Lake Marmo, Schulenberg Prairie (100 acres!) and many trails.
East Side
Children's Garden, Maze Garden, Hedge Collection, Juniper Family Collection, and Northern Illinois Collection, and many trails.

Back to our regularly scheduled program:

This is the inside of the visitor's center. There are information displays, the Ginkgo Restaurant, Cafe, and Arboretum store.

Here is the Children's Garden. It is awesome even for adults. There is a large shallow pond you can walk in, many tree houses, gadgets and gizmos to play with, and little tunnels to crawl through.

Here is the maze. Those shrubs are about 6 feet tall, tall enough for me to get lost! In each section of maze, there are story fragments to read to form a nice nature story. I'm not going to give it away.

There are manicured paths......

And my favorite, natural paths. Look, it's a tree that still has leaves! I only found about 4 trees on the east side that were at their peak, most deciduous trees there have lost their leaves. This was on Main Trail Loop 1. It is about one mile long. The path is unbelievably soft, bouncy actually under my hiking boots. On this trail I saw one very large hawk, a large female hairy woodpecker, heard a cardinal, and saw many russet colored squirrels.

More pictures of Morton Arboretum this week.