Camp Out West

Actually, we didn’t camp out… we stayed in a hotel. We helped Duncan move to Blacksburg as he prepares to start working with the state Public Defender’s Office in Pulaski.

We also had a chance to visit my favorite place on the Virginia Tech campus – the Hahn Horticulture Garden. (Just curious, aren’t all gardens about horticulture? I guess not, because there are sculpture gardens, and beer gardens…)

It’s easy to understand why Duncan loves the natural beauty out there:

Just one of the many simple but beautiful vistas surrounding Blacksburg.
I don't know what this gorgeous - albeit apparently invasive - plant is, but its blooms are carpeting any fields or ravines that aren't cultivated or actively being used for grazing. The flower heads look like a Clover, but the leaf structure is different. Plus, it has more height than most clovers.
Bacteria on the surface of Mars. Just kidding. Martha really "scooped" me with this shot of hers from the Hahn Garden.
This shot shows the main body of the same type of plant as the previous image. OK, I can't identify exactly what this is, but my SWAG is that it is a type of Sempervivum - a genus of alpine succulents which grow in rosettes. But maybe not, because this plant is a standalone form - not a cluster like most Sempervivums. Maybe it's safest to just describe it as a "medium- sized non-cacti succulent with a really wild bloom spike".
Coral Red Honeysuckle (Lonicera Sempervirens) is actually native to North America., but you rarely see it. Instead its Asian cousin is everywhere (Lonicera Japonica). The native honeysuckle doesn't have a scent like Lonicera Japonica, but hummingbirds love it.
Detail of a Garden Sprite sculpture titled "Maid in the Mud", designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and sculpted by Alfonzo Ianelli. Not sure if this is a cast sandstone replica (others are currently available for purchase) or an original.

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