We visited the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in the afternoon to check out their cherry blossoms. There was heavy rain earlier in the day and high winds were forecast for the afternoon and evening, not ideal conditions for delicate flowers. Some trees were well past peak but others looked pretty good.
Upon entering, we were greeted by some flowers! There seemed to be a bit more than our last visit about a month ago.
Not a cherry tree. This might be a type of Japanese plum tree? There seem to be quite a few plum varieties so we’re not exactly sure. Not all the trees are labeled with their species.
We noticed this adult Red-Tailed Hawk flying overhead!
We headed past the greenhouse to look down upon the ponds below. Those are cherry blossoms! We saw a few people taking photos along the path.
The big tall cherry trees by the entrance were mostly well past peak, though some still had quite a few flowers on their branches.
We recognized this particular species as there are two examples of this plant in our local community. It has a unique appearance with tiny buds that blossom into tiny flowers.
We decided to start in the wooded area on the north side of the gardens. We walked by these flowers as we headed in that direction.
These seem to be cherry blossoms. This particular tree was well on its way to dropping all of its flowers.
We saw this pretty male Eastern Bluebird perched on a branch!
These seem to be cherry blossoms, but perhaps a different variety than the famous Yoshino trees? They were located in the Korean Bell Garden.
From here, we could see more of the cherry trees by the ponds.
These cherry blossoms, closer to the lake, seem like they might be the Yoshino variety?
During our last visit, we didn’t see any swallows. Today, we saw many Tree Swallows hunting above the largest pond.
These little group of flowers was particularly pretty!
The turtles were sunning themselves by the ponds. The dry turtle was here first but the the wet turtle arrived as we were walking by. The third turtle, in the water, turned away! Not enough room for three?
A row of cherry trees! A bit past peak unfortunately.
Some cherry blossoms with missing petals.
This tree was in better condition! Still lots of blossoms!
Looking back towards the Korean Bell Garden where we were just a few minutes ago.
Once the cherry blossom petals start falling, the trees take on a slight reddish appearance due to the color of the flower stems. There’s also some green mixed in as typically the leaves have just started growing.
The cherry blossom petals floating on the surface of the pond looked quite nice as koi and turtles slowly swam by.
We continued walking, looking at some of the other flowers that were planted by the path.
A nice cluster of cherry blossoms here!
These flowers were pretty common! We saw two different colors.
A very complicated looking flower!
We continued walking by the eastern pond, looking at the cherry blossoms on our way.
We decided to walk through the grass on the north side of the middle pond. On the way, we saw this Palm Warbler! This is a migratory species that migrates through this region. It doesn’t stay here during the summer or winter.
This cherry tree reminded us of the little tree near the Jefferson Memorial. That one has to deal with constant flooding. This one, well, we’re not sure why it has so few branches!
The middle pond, particularly the area around the gazebo on the pond, was the busiest section of the park today.
The clouds started rolling in and it got windier. That didn’t stop the Tree Swallows though!
We started to walk up the hill back towards the garden entrance. We had a nice view of the cherry trees by the pond from here.
Past peak but still pretty. The taller trees in the background are also starting to grow their leaves. They are much taller than the comparatively small cherry trees!
We walked by some more pretty flowers.
A few of the big cherry trees were almost completely done dropping their flowers. Generally, they seemed to be much further along than the trees by the ponds.
We walked by a variety of flowers planted near the entrance.
So many flower petals on the ground!
As we were about to get in the car to drive home, we heard the sound of hawks above us. It seemed that there were two hawks being harassed by crows. By the time we got the camera back out, only this immature Red-Tailed Hawk remained.
One last photograph of the cherry trees!