We visited the Chesapeake Arboretum, billed as "Nature's Classroom". The Arboretum is 48 acres of nature trails encompassing both sides of Starr Run.
As you can see, the Arboretum is located right in a residential area, one block over from the "main drag", Battlefield Boulevard.
The farmhouse that serves as the Park Headquarters and grounds is to the left of the road. The Arboretum promotes education, environmental awareness, and research.
|After parking at the main building, you can cross the street to enter the nature trails. This charming otter sculpture is a recent addition to the entrance.|
|This trail map is a great visual for the way the woodsy area is surrounded by an urban landscape. Starr Run is the creek running lengthwise down the center of the map.|
|Mischief #1: I forgot to bring a leash! Toby jumps into the car while it's in the garage, and I neglected to grab one. I had to fashion an emergency handle from a shopping bag. Sigh.|
|Starr Run, seen from one of the bridges. Trails run along both sides. You can see the trail to the left.|
|Normally Toby won't go near the water, but today he started doing zooms into and out of the creek. He was running so fast I couldn't time the shutter to get him in the shot...|
|...until finally I clicked the shutter before he had reached the water, and it fired just at the right time!|
|Mischief #2: Quackers. This is the first duck we have ever seen at the Arboretum...|
Next stop is the Camellia Garden.
|The camellia plants bloom at different times. Only a few had blossoms today. (Can you spot Toby?)|
|The far south end of the trail gets quite close to some homes. The enterprising homeowner here has used grass clippings to make a private entrance to the trail.|
|Lake Hughes adjoins the trail system. You can see it on the trail map you saw previously.|
|Mischief #3: More quackers!|
|"Haha dog, c'mon and catch us - if you can!"|
|The lake is too deep for Toby (he won't swim).|
The Chesapeake Arboretum is a little hidden treasure that we try to visit every few weeks. Do you have a place like that in your community?