A Winter Day at the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

We headed to the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens after lunch today. It was snowing a bit when we arrived, though it was too warm for any of it to stick. At the gardens, we saw some flowers that had been planted. A few trees were beginning to bloom, perhaps a bit earlier this year due to recent warm weather across the region. As for birds, we didn’t see too many, mostly a few Canada Geese near the entrance and quite a few American Crows flying around.

There were about ten or so Canada Geese eating grass near the garden entrance. They were pretty busy!

We noticed a few wet flowers as we walked along the path. While they were quite pretty, some of them looked a bit sad! Despite recent record highs, Spring isn’t quite here yet!

These leaves were quite fuzzy and also held many beads of water from melted snow.

We had a nice view of the gazebo that is over one of the ponds. In other seasons, it can be quite busy here. Today, we only saw a few other people during our visit.

We continued on, noticing more flowers as we walked by.

Soon, we reached an entrance to the Korean Bell Garden section of the park.

We noticed this unique black grass from Korea by the entrance. We’ve never noticed it on previous visits.

A few more flowers as we continued our walk.

This particular tree was just starting to flower. While we saw some trees fully in bloom in other parts of Fairfax County, this was as good as it got here. This might be a plum blossom tree? We think all the ones we saw fully in bloom in the county were this type, though we’re not sure about that.

We did notice this other little tree that was in bloom.

This seems to be Japanese apricot blossoms. Also apparently referred to as plum blossoms?

As we continued on our way once again, we passed by a few more flowers.

We finally reached a Yoshino cherry blossom tree! This variety is very well known due to the trees in nearby Washington DC. The buds are starting to appear! According to the official National Park Service bloom watch, the DC cherry blossoms have entered the “green buds” phase, about a week earlier than last year,

We didn’t see much in the pond with the gazebo. In particular, we didn’t see any fish. But we did find this one turtle!

Nearby, we saw a single White-Throated Sparrow! This is a favorite species due to its unique song. We also saw a Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, and Carolina Wren around here.

These two Mallards, a male and a female, were swimming in one of the ponds.

They kept dunking their heads into the water. Not a behavior that we’re familiar with. We’ve never noticed our local Mallards do this.

These trees on a small island in one of the ponds had quite a bit of yellow flowers in bloom!

We noticed a few more flowers as we continued on our way, eventually returning to the entrance and ending our visit.

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