Joe and I had quite an active weekend -- well, if you can call going to a movie and driving through a huge garden active.
We went to the movies on Saturday, a rainy, damp, gray day -- perfect for a movie, actually. We saw The Wolverine. I liked it! I may not know all the lore behind the X-Men, but I did quite enjoy watching a moody, shirtless Hugh Jackman for a couple of hours.
Sunday, on the other hand, was a rare, picture perfect day! We wanted to be outside, walk a little bit, and just enjoy the beautiful afternoon. So, we drove over to northeast DC to the National Arboretum, a 446-acre oasis of gardens, woods, water, and plants. After parking and grabbing a map, we plotted out our course of action.
First, we wandered through the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, which houses an extensive collection of wonderful bonsai trees from Japan, China, and North America. The oldest tree in the collection is over 400 years old! This one, I think, was my favorite:
After admiring the bonsai, we walked around the herb garden, breathing in the scents of... well, herbs. We saw that we were fairly close to a hill with a set of columns at the top.
Wow! These stately pillars make up the National Capitol Columns. They actually were part of the Capitol, on the East Portico, and were quarried from Virginia sandstone in 1828. The columns are situated on blocks of stone. There is a beautiful reflecting pool at the bottom of the steps, fed from a pool in the middle of the columns down a sweet set of water steps. It's simple, but awe-inspiring at the same time.
Well, it inspired awe in me, at least. Then again, I'm easily inspired. I wonder what the archeologists of the future will make of them, after they dig them up during the post-apocalyptic dystopia.
We walked back to the car -- and man, it was a beautiful but I must admit that the walk was a bit toasty -- and then drove through the rest of the arboretum, stopping at the Asian collection. Joe walked through the Japanese Woodland, but I was a bit leery of the steepity (Yes, it is too a word! I just made it up!).
These are only three of the many photos I took, so go here to see to see the full set, including lots of bonsai trees. Tell me which one is your favorite!
I can't wait to go back next spring, when the hillside full of azaleas is in full bloom.