picked out by the sun

10.7.22 ~ Caroline Black Garden, Connecticut College Arboretum

Caroline Black Garden is known as the secret garden of Connecticut College, located on a steep hill between the college and the Thames River. Starting with this gate you follow paths passing through various garden “rooms.” It has four acres of native and exotic ornamental trees and bushes. We enjoyed a morning of exploration.

western red cedar
paths connected the “rooms”

Sit and be quiet. In a while
the red berries, now in shadow,
will be picked out by the sun.

~ Wendell Berry
(This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems)

path leading to a magical pool
Tim pretending to climb a huge glacial erratic
water bubbling out from under this rock ~ a spring perhaps?
Japanese inspired water feature
gate leaving pool “room”

The clearing rests in song and shade.
It is a creature made
By old light held in soil and leaf,
By human joy and grief,
By human work,
Fidelity of sight and stroke,
By rain, by water on
The parent stone.

~ Wendell Berry
(This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems)

prickly pear, the only cactus native to Connecticut
bee and goldenrod
another garden gate

What a natural wellspring — cooling and refreshing the years — is the gift of wonder! It removes the dryness from life and keeps our days fresh and expanding.
~ Edwin Way Teale
(Circle of the Seasons: The Journal of a Naturalist’s Year)

33 thoughts on “picked out by the sun”

    1. Thank you, Leelah. I’m so happy these pictures resonated with you. It was such an enchanting place to wander around in.

  1. Prickly pear, a cactus, is native to Connecticut! I had no idea that cactus grew anywhere but in the SW. I like how pretty goldenrod looks in general, but your photo with the bee elevates it.

    1. Nature is full of surprises and exceptions! But apparently cacti are native to the Americas from Patagonia all the way to western Canada. Goldenrod seems to be having a great season this year. I even saw some growing out of the rocks at the beach yesterday.

  2. Thank you for this serene walk through the Caroline Black Garden, Barbara, it was much appreciated. Your photos did a wonderful job of capturing the design creativity, the “rooms” and paths, the garden gates, and all the beautiful scenery it contains. Colorful berries, heart-shaped leaves, autumn colors, goldenrod, trees. I really liked the poetry you chose here, too.

    1. You’re welcome, Jet, and thank you for appreciating this special garden. I enjoy finding poetry and quotes to go with my photos almost as much as I enjoy taking the original walk. 🙂 So many things to see in the natural world, every walk seems to offer a fresh look at them.

  3. This was a wonderful post. So many photos and I enjoyed them all. I must admit I was surprised by how long this post was, but I enjoyed it from beginning to end. Great job Barbara.

    1. Thank you, Peggy! I keep trying to take fewer pictures each time I go out but I can’t help myself. Every little thing seems amazing and photo-worthy each way I turn.

      1. I too take lots of photos. I try to choose the best and display them on wordpress. I use to make long posts, but it just takes more time than I have.

        1. Less is more, as they say. 🙂 Our life situations do change and it’s interesting to look back on old posts and see the shifts in content and focus we’ve made on our blogs over the years.

  4. I absolutely love the three gates as well as where you chose to place each within your post, Barbara!

    Ha, Tim fooled me! I actually visioned him on top and thought that would be your next inserted picture. Gave me a good laugh.

    I like the idea of “room” for the garden’s space. Such a lovely stroll through this garden with ya’ll today.

    This morning Yorkie woke me just in time to watch the moon set in our backyard then to stroll down the block to see the Halloweens including a different skeleton yoga pose. Most of our block is decorated. At the end of the block which is where we always turn around back home to my surprise the sun was showing off it’s beautiful rise.

    1. Those gates and rooms called to me, too, TD! Tim’s always a good sport — lol. 😉 I love moonsets, especially in the early morning when I happen to open my kitchen shades and catch a full moon sitting on the horizon. Sounds like Halloween is a big thing in your neighborhood. I haven’t seen much in our condo complex but I think a good many of us are retired. The city holds a trick-or-treating event down at the beach. People decorate their car tailgates in the parking lot and then the kids go from car to car in their costumes collecting their treats.

      1. Sounds like our kitchen window faces the same direction, Barbara. As far a Halloween it does seem to me that the people in this city truly enjoy the decoration and organizing activities for the children and those folks who like to costume their dogs. The car tailgate decos and gathering sounds like a fun family costume event in your town.

  5. What a wonderful excursion! I think I’d have loved seeing that magical garden … and feeling the peace and contentment that only nature can bring. This would’ve made an ideal jaunt for Robin’s Walktober (or have you planned another interesting getaway?!?)

    1. You definitely would have enjoyed this outing, Debbie! Our fall colors aren’t supposed to start peaking until the 24th and I was hoping to get some of them for Robin’s Walktober. We’ll see how it goes, if I can squeeze it in before her deadline. Are you planning a walk, too?

  6. What a wonderful walk Barbara – again, my type of walk and I’d be filled with all the same wonderment and come home with the same kind of pictures that would amaze me as amazed you. I love the concept of the separate “rooms” with each room separated by a gate. I like that idea a lot. The prickly pear cactus surprised me that it grows in Connecticut. I had no idea of that. How perfect that the bee landed on the goldenrod just then. I like the goldenrod, especially in the Summer. I like how you intersperse the poems in between the text and photos. Today was a gorgeous Fall day and I know you will get our weather tomorrow so enjoy!

    1. Thank you, Linda! I love knowing what kindred spirits we are. Creating garden “rooms” was inspired, for sure. Nature is full of surprises, like a cactus native to Connecticut. 😉 You know, it’s getting harder and harder to find quotes and poetry that I haven’t used before. I’ve been pouring through my books again, old friends, in the evenings…

      1. We are kindred souls Barbara and I think sometimes as I walk along that this is something you would like. I’ve had an exciting year for photos of new birds and one more weekend, this coming weekend, it will be warm and sunny, so I guess that will be my final-final Fall picture-taking for 2022. It would be difficult to keep track of all the quotes without repeating them. I see quotes and send myself an e-mail and collect them in an e-mail folder. Just quotes that I know will pertain to a walk I took, or plan to take or about nature. I just saw this one the other day: “The Earth has music for those who listen.” – William Shakespeare

        1. Your fall picture-taking is winding down while mine seems to be coming into full swing. We found another trail, new to us, on Wednesday, and I got a few pictures. I do the same thing, emailing myself quotes. Then I look them up on Google Books to make sure they’re accurately attributed and correctly transcribed. It’s amazing how many erroneous quotes are circulating out there. I love that Shakespeare quote! (I used it back in 2011. 🙂 )

          1. As many times as I go to Lake Erie Metropark, the last time I was there two weeks ago, I discovered a new trail. It was Sandhill Crane migration week, so I was hoping to see more of them, but did not. I was walking down the road where I saw the Cranes and spotted four or five deer (very far away). So I tried to find them and followed a couple of walkers and that took me to the other side of the park and a Battle of Brownstown memorial and two canons. I never knew about the memorials and this was not even in the Metropark – people could just walk inside the gated area and have access to the Metropark (they charge for a yearly pass or $10.00 each time to get in). In the end I never found the deer and I thought I’d never get back to my car as it was a long journey back. Luckily I didn’t get lost.

            I do the same thing with the quotes to ensure they are properly attributed. People often just put Anonymous for the author. Funny that you used it already in 2011.

          2. It’s always exciting to find a new trail and renew the thrill of discovery. 🙂 So many hidden treasures in our home communities. I looked up the Battle of Brownstown. History and nature often intersect when we’re out walking. I’m glad you didn’t get lost and had a adventure.

          3. I was surprised to see this memorial which is likely what you saw when you looked it up.
            I’ve never heard of the Battle of Brownstown and never knew there was a historic site right there. Plus there was a sign that this area was part of the Iron Belle Trail. In the metroparks where I walk, they have been linked together on biking paths and are treated as various stops along the Iron Belle trail which is a biking/hiking trail that goes from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to Humbug Marsh and downtown Detroit (Belle Isle). I’d love to visit Belle Isle, but the threat of violence in the City of Detroit where I worked for many decades, is too worrisome, so I am not going there. The entire Iron Belle trail is 2,000 miles long!

          4. Now we both have learned about the Battle of Brownstown. 😉 Your Iron Belle Trail sounds like our Appalachian Trail. I’ve only hiked on tiny portions of it in Connecticut when I was a teen. I don’t blame you for avoiding Detroit. I avoid New York City for the same reason. I’m glad I don’t know anyone living there any more. I was always nervous visiting my daughter and son-in-law when they lived there.

          5. I’ve heard about the Appalachian Trail. A fellow blogger who does not write a nature/walking/hiking blog, but she and her husband did a portion last year. I had never heard of it before the Gabby Petito story as her boyfriend Brian was familiar with the trail, having hiked it alone before meeting her.

            I would not have lasted this long in Detroit – our building was a mile from Downtown where I worked for decades. It is not safe in Detroit, no matter how much PR they give it. I would feel the same way about New York City. There is enough craziness going on in the world without inviting more of it.

    1. Thank you, Donna!! Those paths were beckoning to us, we could never tell where they were leading, which made exploring a delight!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed you enjoyed passing through the gates and visiting the garden “rooms” with us, Suz!

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