under a palm leaf

My friend Meghan organized a play date today. She invited us to join her and her kiddos at Wellesley College’s greenhouses. She discovered them on a grim wintery day when she wanted somewhere warm and green to escape to and the college was exactly halfway between her place and mine, a great meetup location.


It was a lovely outing. Although everyone else was eager to go on some kind of expedition, Sophie was dubious at first. She didn’t want to leave the house because she wanted to stay home and play with her new paper doll. But of course once we were there she was fascinated by the various plants and by the time to leave she didn’t want to go back home. (I’m noticing this is starting to be a pattern with her.)


It wasn’t huge or flashy, an unassuming little collection of plants; but I can tell I’m going to want to go back in February. All the kids found something that they liked. There was a greenhouse full of cacti–Bella liked the barrel cactus because the spines looked like plastic. Nini liked it too. Sophie and Ben liked the Lady of the Night cactus.


There was a greenhouse full of palms and tropical plants– Bella said it was like a jungle. I wished we could have lingered longer. I wish I’d got pictures of some of the cooler plants. Maybe next time.


There was a fish pond. That was a favorite with the kids, of course.

fish pond at wellesley

fish pond at wellesley with artists

There were artists all over the place, sketching plants. And in the greenhouse with the fish pond the instructor was giving a couple of the students some pointers.

haystack full of needles

And on the way back to the cars we found a gigantic pile of pine needles. Watching the kids sliding around on it reminded me of Mary and Laura sliding down Pa’s haystacks. But this haystack was made of needles.


We didn’t do any formal schooling today and I didn’t do anything to make this field trip educational, but I think wonder is the beginning of knowledge. Looking at fascinating plants, wondering about them… who knows where that wonder may one day lead.

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