I usually come to work early and drive around looking for interesting or beautiful things. If I have time I get out and walk a little, but today this incredible sunrise stopped the car in its tracks. Low clouds on the horizon diffused the sun but left enough rays intact to suffuse the pooled fog with golden light. Even the dandelion seedheads in the foreground are lit like little suns. (The pictures in the posts are clickable) It was transporting; for a few minutes I wasn't at the Arboretum. Then, for better or worse, photography brought me back. And I didn't even do a very good job; the picture is hopelessly inadequate....but, the Universe sometimes rewards early risers. I guess today was my day.
This is the flip side of the ellipse at the Arboretum. If you look closely below the crook of my wrist (which is shielding the camera from the direct glare of the just risen sun), you can see a column or two in the distance. Of course we worked in the shadows of the columns yesterday and if you scroll down and compare the quality of light...morning sun is the best.
The Ellipse is one of the areas that has received a good deal of well deserved attention over the past few years. Much of it has centered around The Flowering Tree Walk, an element of the Master Plan that is essentially a paved walking path planted with mostly flowering trees that parallels the roads inside the perimeter of the ellipse and provides pedestrian access to those collections adjacent to the ellipse. In preparation for installation of the section between the Herb Garden and the Capitol Columns there was a major reconfiguration of topography that included the construction of two bio-retention basins. Next, portions of the Walk were installed that linked The Herb Garden with the Columns on one side of the Ellipse and the Azalea Garden on the other side. Decisions were made about existing trees; most stayed, some went. Woody weeds in the "meadow" portions were addressed. Existing trees were pruned and cleaned up. Now another portion of the Walk is being installed continuing from the Columns to a new entrance to Fern Valley through the Fern Valley Meadow. Hey if you had a vague feeling that the grounds of the Arboretum looked better lately, you were right!