bruce and i went down to framingham to check out the new england wildflower society (NEWFS) with the pair of free passes i scored from the cambridge public library. they actually have two properties, a nursery in western massachusetts (whately) called nasami farm and the main garden and headquarters in framingham called "garden in the woods." we left at 11:00 and got there around noontime. there were more cars in the parking lot than i thought, but most of the visitors were on their way out. we showed the admission desk/gift store clerk our passes and he gave each of us an entry sticker. he warned us about the mosquitoes and that's when i noticed the basket of bug repellent wet naps for sale on the desk. fortunately i came prepared with my own supply.

springtime is traditionally the best season to see wildflowers but there were still enough late summer blooms to keep us busy. and by busy i mean bruce and i going around the garden taking photos of every single thing we thought was interesting. ever since he got his new camera (canon elph), bruce has been quite the photographer, often beating me to the subject.

one of the centerpieces of the wildflower garden has to be the lily pond. surrounded by the fragrant scent of pepper bushes, various species of dragonflies can be spotted flying about, while in the pond itself floating islands offer homes for water-loving vegetation like pitcher plants. the pond is also home for very tame frogs and turtles that don't run away when they see humans but instead actually come closer.

we didn't see many other people in the garden, and the ones we did encounter often walked right by us while we crouched in the underbrush looking for photo opportunities. many of the cars in the parking lot must belong to NEWFS employees who work in the various buildings dotting the entrance of the garden.

vegetation-wise, there weren't too many things i haven't seen before. garden in the woods does have an admirable collection of pitcher plants, although most of them (for instance, the trumpets) aren't native to new england.

heading into the meadow garden, there was a sassafras tree with gauze pouches tied to the end of branches. living inside were cecropia moth caterpillars, green with a rainbow colored assortment of buds growing off their backs, one of the prettiest caterpillars i've ever seen (hard to photography through the protective bag though).

back at the gift shop, we watched as a chipmunk came running out of the store, with the clerk chasing after it. shoplifting? he was just trying to drive away the forest rodent so he could close the doors.

returning to cambridge, bruce was kind enough to make a pit stop at the central square cambridge library branch so i could drop off the two passes.