Last Monday my family took me on a surprise birthday trip. We began by parking at the top of the Ann Arbor Hospital parking lot :P
Then picnic basket and coolers in hand, we headed off on our unknown adventure.
The first stop was the Nichols Arboretum. We had never before heard of this hidden gem in the city, but we were delighted that we finally found it.
Set on 127 or so acres, the Arboretum, is crisscrossed with neatly kept up paths, that still have a lovely wild feel to them.
The rest of the family quickly found the maps, and decided on our route, while I...
found the daffodils, and photographed them.
The first path we took, was lined with Rhododendrons that had yet to blossom, and had a bench on it that was flanked by blooming Azaleas.
There were wildflowers scattered along the wooded paths, and I was so surprised to see Forget-Me-Not in abundance.
There were many large trees along the trail, but this one in particular was humongous. It took the nearly 14 foot combined wingspan of Josiah and Dad, to encircle it.
One of the reasons that Faith in particular wanted to take me to the Arboretum, was that in 2003 a lady had the idea to plant a 1/2 mile long line of Daffodils. Altogether 20,000 daffodil bulbs were planted! (look here for more information, and a very interesting video)
Though the daffodils had been trampled down in some parts, and were completely missing in sections, the first part of line, was still en-mass, and very beautiful.
On our way to our picnic spot we came upon a hill, and found, much to our delight, that it was perfect for taking some pretty amusing photos.
Joshua, holding his pocket wife! :)
There were birds everywhere, chirping, and singing, in the spring air.
We were very glad, that both Mr. Reiche, and Josh and Theresa were able to accompany us on our trip.
We had decided to have our picnic right down by the Huron River which flows through the Arboretum.
Well right next to the river, and hanging over it was a large tree, and of course, if there is anything climbable, that is where the boys go. At first Josiah and Josh were posing nicely on the tree hanging directly over the river, then....
they started "horsing-around". Thankfully Josiah caught his hat before it plunged to the ice depth below. ;)
Then poor Josh got nervous, but his dear little (big) brother comforted Josh and brought him around, so much in fact that...
He started swinging off the tree! :)
Once they had returned to Terra firma we partook of the luscious picnic lunch, and enjoyed watching the wild life around us, including an adorable little doe across the river who stared curiously at us and wondered what the "crazy humans" were doing now.
Time was growing short, and we still had another destination to visit, so we quickly disposed of the remainders of our repast, and headed spit spot up the ridge.
We walked through the Peony gardens and back passed the sign for the Arboretum.
When we reached the top of the parking garage, we jumped into our vehicles, and took off to the second part of the Birthday trip. Which I will document, in a separate part, because if have dozens of pictures from it, and this post is already alarmingly long! :)