The OSU Botanic Garden

The Other Half and I have our favorite places to visit throughout the seasons, but the one place where the difference between summer and winter seems greatest is the university-owned Botanic Gardens. During the winter, bleak wood tones highlight the obvious labels which surround the ever-present compost piles.

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But even here, when you come in the evenings, the questioning whistles of robins and peeps of other small birds drown out the rustling crunch of leaves under squirrel feet.

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The only splashes of color are bright berries lining the stark, empty branches of trees. Between them flit dozens of sparrows and waxwings.

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During the summer, though, the gardens become a riot of color. Flowers burst with hues that mix and match in a cascade of colors, and bees, butterflies, and other wildlife flit among them with a low hum.

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The wildlife itself changes from fall and winter to spring and summer, as well. During the winter, on a warm day, you may see the occasional fly among the birds and squirrels, while during the summer, cottontails dart among the tall weeds and skinks clamber about.

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But the biggest difference of all is the sunsets. During the summer, warm gold tones highlight art fixtures and flowers in a welcoming glow.

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During the winter, it’s all I can do to stay out long enough to see the sharp shadows lengthen over the trees.

Alright, let’s be honest. It’s just too cold for me during winter. If I post pictures of flowers and warm evenings, maybe then spring can remember to show itself this March. Can we maybe see some spring soon? Maybe? Or maybe I should just escape to southern Texas for a few days…

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