Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Arboretum and Airlie Gardens

We have had guests for almost a week now with some overlap between the two sets!!  My neighbors from the north came last week and we wanted to find some new places for them to visit.  They had come down last  year and we had taken them to many of Wilmington's attractions.  One of my neighbors down here suggested that the Arboretum was well worth a visit if we hadn't been there so that was our first stop.  It is located very close to Airlie Gardens.  You never know what you will find this time of year as it is still a bit early for all the spring flowers.  This is a view into the very lovely Japanese Garden there.  The Arboretum was lovely and is a free attraction as well.  It was a nice start to our beautiful day.

This is a view into the large pond that greets you.

The pond was full of carp in all colors and very large.  They obviously expected us to feed them as they all swam over when we appeared by the side.  I liked the stars that formed from the sun shining on the water!

We then headed to Airlie Gardens which is always a "must see" here in Wilmington.  It is a gorgeous place with old Live Oaks, gardens, walkways and birds.  We actually discovered a path that we had never taken before and it was my favorite so far!  This is a view into one of the ponds.
The camelias were pretty much in full bloom with lots of varieties as always.  These camelia gardens are close to 100 years old.  

I even like looking under the bushes to see the petals from the flowers that have fallen probably that night!

There were lots of turtles out sunning on this lovely day.

Just a closer look at all the turtles (probably yellow bellied sliders).

There is one pond that has many species of ducks on it and we were not disappointed.  They do keep their distance but we were rewarded with some nice views on our new path which goes all the way around the pond.  In this picture you can see Scaups, Widgeons, Gadwalls and Hooded Mergansers, malles and females of all!

A lovely male American Widgeon with his irridescent green head and a white stripe down the front of his face and just a touch of black on the end of his bill.

A male Hooded Merganser with his female companion not far behind.

The female Hooded Merganser all fluffed up.

The male and female Gadwalls were there as well.  We saw all the indigenous ducks except the Wood Duck and the Green Winged Teal which has eluded me.

As I was taking so many duck pictures, the others were resting on a bench waiting for me.  Here are Sharon and Warren.

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