Sunday, December 04, 2011

UNC Observatory and the Coker Arboretum

Yesterday The second grade class from Meg's school had a field trip to the UNC Observatory which is on top of the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill. We met the kids and families at 5 pm  and everyone got to look at Juniper in the big telescope! I was hoping it would have enlarged it more than it did, still it was fun. Meg noted 3 moons which I did not see around Juniper.

You can see the copper dome opened from the roof of the Planetarium in this photo. Wish I could show more photos but it became dark very quickly. Seeing the doom turn was very cool, from inside it slightly made one dizzy.

Here is a view of the Coker Arboretum which was started in 1903. Those trees have grown a good bit, they have a lot of very cool mature trees from all over the world.
 Above is Chinese Quince, the bark reminds me of Sycamore trees.
 This holly on approach one would have taken it for an Magnolia the leaves were so big. It is called Luster-leaf Holly, Ilex latifolia.
Coker has a few camellias, this is Camellia japonica 'Kanyotai'. At least I think it was labeled correct as another label was for another hybrid camellia that I knew of from Duke Gardens. Anyway a new favorite of mine. A web search of this was not very production so getting it for our garden might be a tough task.
This Camellia sasanqua 'Otome' was very nice as well.
Coker has extensive plantings of hellebores, nothing even budding from what we saw. This is our Helleborus niger  'Ivory Prince' from today in the garden here.

Yesterday the bees were out, still bring in pollen at a rate of about 10 bees a minute. Today lots of bees flying with slightly less pollen coming in, noticed an off white pollen a few times. One of the local beekeepers told me red pollen would be from henbit. There is lots of henbit in our garden I pull it up as best I can, it rarely gets the chance to bloom in our garden.

One more item about yesterday. Meg and I ate at Crooks Corner in Chapel Hill. I have been here since 1985 and had never eaten there before. Slightly pricy but outstanding food. Meg ate hopping Johns, it was awesome. I ate shrimp and  cheese grits, best I have ever had, except it needed more cheese. Dessert to die for Persimmon Puddings with home made ice cream, oh my it was so tasty... I'd rate it 5 stars out of 5 stars, we well be back.

Coming soon our new recycled wood compost bin. Meg brings home the schools compost, does your kids school compost? We get from 5 -20 gallon a day, the bees like it if we don't cover it with leaves or straw.


greggo said...

Nice blooms for december.

Freda Cameron said...

We walked through Coker Arb last week. One of our favorite places to go on sunny winter days (we walk from Mediterranean Deli, a favorite lunch place).

sweetbay said...

I love that Quince tree. I remember seeing it last time we were there. I went to school at UNC so I've been through the Arb hundreds of times. I worked for a year in Davie Hall too and ate lunch in the Arb on fine days. There are a lot of interesting specimens there!

Never been to Crook's Corner though, although I've heard a lot about it. Your H. niger is beautiful!

You asked about Camellias ~ I only have one, a sasanqua seedling, but would really like to add more sasanqua cultivars.

Diana said...

Randy, I stopped by to tell you there has been some spam loaded to one of your posts: 'Camellias Pinks 15 Different Ones'... I received it in my email

Andrea said...

Oh thanks Randy for the info, because I've long been wondering what that tree i saw in China is called. I saw it in 1990, my first trip to China. That fatigue cloth-looking bark still lingers in my mind, now it is answered, quince. And I am wondering how you get the unwanted pollen from the bee's legs!

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

What a great field trip for the kids (big and small). Need to get up there one of these days. I am amazed at the size of the trunk on that Chinese Quince...really big! Finally getting back into the swing of posting and reading blogs. I have missed my e-friends.

icedgurl said...

trekking your amazing photos!!! thanks for sharing and keep posting!