Friday, March 19, 2010

Tropics and Cacti

The kids were hesitant to leave the ponds and waterfall, but we soon discovered there was fun to be found in the Tropical House.

Abigail was immediately drawn to the fountain peacefully dripping at the back of the green house. Joshua immediately found that the fountain had left puddles on the stone walkway that were great for stomping and splashing. I love this shot; Darren caught him in full action.

Abigail wanted to see if she could catch a drip from the fountain in her hand. It is wonderful to see how such simple things bring such pleasure to children.

Then, of course, Joshua had to join the fun. He was equally pleased with the drops and caught four or five before he was satisfied and could move on.

We were the only ones in the Tropical House for few minutes. We all stopped our talking and walking to listen to the music of the fountain. I was surprised that even the kids enjoyed the sound enough to remain silent for almost thirty seconds.

Abigail carefully explored the foliage of the Tropics, especially enjoying the huge leaves right at her level. She was so gentle with all the plants after the yellow flower incident.

The next house in the garden provided a huge contrast to the tropical house, the very dry Arid House. Joshua and I have a fun "teaching" moment talking about how there was so much water everywhere in the tropical house (even on the floor making stomping puddles), but there was very little water in with the cacti; he observed that the sand and pebbles in the arid house were very dry.

Abigail was greatly intrigued by Joshua's comment about the dry rocks and had to check it out for herself. See, Daddy, they are dry!

Then we learned about cacti and how pokey they can be. We looked closely at the spikes, but were careful not to touch (for the most part). There were huge cacti and little cacti; I even spotted a few that I recognized from my mom's window sills. The kids and I all gently pet the "old man" cacti they had on display.

We paused for a break on the rocks, enjoying the view of huge cacti in front of us. Some of these plants had reached the greenhouse ceiling at least 30 feet up.

After our break we strolled through the Victorian corridor lined with beautiful flowers, and encountered a wedding party in formal attire. Sorry, we didn't catch any good shots of the kilts. It is hard to discretely take pictures with our big camera; that would be the time to pull out a camera phone or something.

Tomorrow we'll close our visit to the winter gardens with some outside shots (those gardens were still asleep for the winter, but the kids needed a good place to really run around), and then the favorite Fern House. You can see more pictures on Facebook at Duthie Winter Gardens - March 2010.

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