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As I was driving home from work the other day, I heard a Metro Connections segment on Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Across the Anacostia River from the National Arboretum in DC, it's an attraction I'd never heard of, but it sounded beautiful. So I paid a visit there today; here are my pictures.

Indeed, it's a gorgeous place. I walked an anticlockwise route through the gardens, starting out by ponds of water lilies. The ponds teem with both flora and fauna—young fish love the cover they get beneath lily pads and amongst underwater grasses. I saw turtles and frogs too, sensibly skittish enough to avoid being photographed. I took short video clip of geese munching on the sub-marine life.

Last week I attended a training session run by my county's recreation and parks department to educate volunteers on identifying purple loosestrife and on efforts to remove the invasive non-native species from this area. Armed with that knowledge, I noted a bunch of purple loosestrife infiltrations at the aquatic gardens.

This was the first time, in my memory, that I'd ever seen a lotus, and my first impression was that it looked like a plant from another planet, from the enormous scale of the things to the weird rhizomes. They're amazing. And there were large ponds filled with them, creating vast fields of lotus.

The oppressive heat wave we'd been suffering lifted a couple days ago, so walking around outdoors was relatively pleasant. I'm glad I went, particularly while the lotus are in bloom; they're an experience to discover. If you'd like to go to, I'd certainly recommend doing so in the summer; you can picnic there too.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
caereala
Aug. 7th, 2006 02:33 am (UTC)
I had heard of it before but also heard the segment on metro connection yesterday and really want to go now.
harvestar
Aug. 9th, 2006 01:56 am (UTC)
Such beautiful pictures! I may have to go next time I'm in town. (not sure when that will be, though our meetings are there every other year, but usually in the Winter) Those lotus flowers are amazing.
radhardened
Aug. 9th, 2006 03:35 am (UTC)
If you liked those photos, I expect you'll really like this photoset by someone I don't know but who also paid a visit to those aquatic gardens a couple weeks before I did. I love her close-up lotus photos.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )