Preamble: The Czarina has been a very enthusiastic fan of the glass artist Dale Chihuly for as long as I’ve known her. Me, I’ve been looking for a good excuse to visit the Dallas Arboretum, especially at night, for years. Last Wednesday, we celebrated Independence Day not in the usual manner, but by having a date night at the Arboretum’s Chihuly Nights exhibition. Keep an eye on this blog over the next few days, because there’s a lot to see. Just keep in mind that the photos don’t come close to displaying the beauty of the Arboretum, and that the best way to experience it is in person.
This unidentified plant is reason alone to make a trip back to the Arboretum, just to identify it. Finding good black plants for goth gardening is hard enough, but something at lest twice my height?
Among the trees were dozens of absolutely gigantic dragonflies, even for North Texas, and one was absolutely fascinated by one particular point on a Chihuly spearpoint. The beauty was seeing it on the tip. The humor came from when it kept sliding off and attempting to get right back.
And then we had simply surreal. As the sun set, more and more wildlife came out, including Mexican free-tailed bats, toads, geckos, and lots of frogs and katydids attempting to drown out the noise from the omnipresent cicadas. The best surprise was the rabbit that leapt out of the undergrowth with a large mouthful of something. It was probably grabbing up grass and fern stems for a nest, but boy howdy did it look as if it was dragging a dead rat back into the shrubbery.
And speaking of eating rats, I’d heard about the Jerry Junkins garden at the Dallas Arboretum. Having worked for the man when he was CEO of Texas Instruments in the late Eighties and early Nineties, I was absolutely floored that the garden wasn’t full of poison ivy and stinkweed. (Those of us who worked at TI during his obsession with the Malcolm Baldridge Award for Corporate Excellence aren’t surprised that Southern Methodist University’s technology school is named for Junkins. We’re just waiting for SMU to continue the tradition and open a psychiatric hospital named for Charles Manson, a culinary school named for Jeffrey Dahmer, and a music scholarship program named for G.G. Allin.)