Looking for Spring at The Arboretum (Guelph)

Posted on: April 10th, 2012 by Trillium Art

All nature is but art unknown” ~Alexander Pope

What a wonderful Easter weekend full of family visits and good food.  However, our seasonal weather seems to almost be a let-down after the taste of warmer sunshine just a few weeks ago.  The winter coats have moved to the front of the closet and the shorts are buried once again.  The plants in my garden who were so eager to start their blooming seemed to have gone back to sleep.

My children and I went in search for spring this Easter Monday.  What better place than The Arboretum at the University of Guelph.  We grabbed our cameras, binoculars, (coats, hats and mitts too) and headed to Guelph.  It was cool and breezy, but so wonderful in the sunshine.

I know you must be on the edge of your seat wondering if we saw any signs of spring!?! Not to worry, we saw lots of flowers, buds and some wildlife.  Spring is definitely on its way!  We were all very busy capturing our evidence on film.

My Budding Photographer

During our visit to ‘The Gosling Wildlife Gardens’ we enjoyed the beautiful colours of the daffodils, crocus, hyacinths, periwinkle and forsythia.  What a lovely microclimate.  It was out of the wind and wonderfully warm!

Periwinkle (Vinca)

The children were intrigued with the amount of wildlife and mammals that have been spotted in the gardens as mentioned in the signage (including Humans – Homo sapiens…who knew!).  Although, we were enjoying the many songs of the birds, we didn’t see many.  That may be a result of our boisterous singing as we continued on our hike!

We ventured further into the natural woods and followed several trails.  I followed the children’s lead and watched to see what interested them.  In the leaves and branches on the ground we found two patches of Bloodroot (Sanguinairia) in full bloom.  We were careful not to touch the pure white flowers as the sap from these flowers are bright red and can irritate the skin.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria)

On our travels, we found ourselves in a section of the woods called the ‘Wild Goose Woods’.  This area can be quite wet in the spring, hence the many boardwalks that are part of the trails.  During our hike, the paths were dry, but the children were drawn to the large area of water.

This is where we found a majestic Canada Goose standing in the middle of the water on a sunken log.  He (or she) was not startled by the children talking to him, but calmly watched us until he slipped into the water and traveled on his way!

The highlight of our hike was at the end of our visit.  The children were getting a bit tired as we turned a corner and discovered a beautiful treasure!  We found a sleeping bed of trilliums just waiting for warmer breezes to tease the buds open.  We looked and looked but didn’t see any open just yet.  There seemed to be a hush in the woods with the anticipation of spring.  We made a promise to return and view this sea of white provincial flowers.  The trillium, the ultimate Ontario spring wildflower.

Trillium, Our Provincial Flower

On our way home, we talked about what we saw, where we walked, what songs we sang, until our conversations turned to what will be happening in the next few weeks as the real spring arrives on the wings of warmer spring weather.  The gardens we saw this day will forever be changing.  We look forward to visiting again to see what The Arboretum has in store for us.

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