Field Trip Friday #4 My Father’s World

This was the first field trip for the kids and I alone as Rob’s studies have now begun.  The kids and I have been tackling a bit of scientific classification together so we packed up and headed to the University Botanic Garden for some outside class time.

The garden sits on about 25 acres and is a part of Durham University.  The students can visit free of charge so many students head there for lunch or afternoon tea in the dining area.

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There is  a large divided greenhouse.  It includes an Amazon Rainforest, Arizona Desert, bug centre, orchid room, and koi pond and water fall.  The kids and I really loved these Giant Amazon Water Lilies ( Victoria Amazonica).  The grow up to two meters and have very strong air filled veins that cause it to float well enough to hold up a small child.

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Personally my favourite green house plant was this orchid in the center.  It seems to be leaning out a bit sideways saying, “Hello” or here in Durham, “Good Dahy”.

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We took such a long time in the green houses that we almost forgot about the other 23 acres of garden to see.

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This tree is a Field Maple (Acer Campestre).  Six of these type trees along with two other types were placed in large pots and lined the aisle at Westminster Abbey for the marriage of Prince William and Kate.  They are a symbol of strength, humility and love.  Each tree was 16 years old and weighed one half a ton.  Cool fact I thought.

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We rested under some enormous evergreens.  This picture only contains about one third of this tree.  It must be 100 feet tall.  The ground under it makes a great fort and is carpeted with needles and smells deliciously like Christmas.

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Just a beautiful walk.  We probably walked a bit too much as Meg was really tired that afternoon.

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It has been very warm for October and we have been pleasantly surprised how nice, for the most part, it has been.

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This stump showed the growth rings of a very old tree and has now become a host to a very large fungi. Cool?  Wey Aye Man!

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The trees are just beginning to turn.

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We played around a bit with the watercolor effect on the camera.  I can imagine this garden is beautiful in any season.   We only covered a portion of the garden and never made it over to the museum part.  We will surely be back to hike, explore and enjoy the changing seasons this year.  If you ever visit Durham, England this garden is a must see.

Our hymn study of the month is: This is My Father’s World by Maltbie Badcock

This is my Father's world, 
	and to my listening ears 
	all nature sings, and round me rings 
	the music of the spheres.  
	This is my Father's world:  
	I rest me in the thought 
	of rocks and trees, of skies and seas; 
	his hand the wonders wrought.

2.	This is my Father's world, 
	the birds their carols raise, 
	the morning light, the lily white, 
	declare their maker's praise.  
	This is my Father's world:  
	he shines in all that's fair; 
	in the rustling grass I hear him pass; 
	he speaks to me everywhere.3.	This is my Father's world.  
	O let me ne'er forget 
	that though the wrong seems oft so strong, 
	God is the ruler yet.  
	This is my Father's world:  
	why should my heart be sad?  
	The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!  
	God reigns; let the earth be glad!

-Beth

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