My hike was very slow since I decided to do some photography in the gardens first. My first task was to photograph butterflies, then some flowers and finally some of the gardens. It was a gorgeous day with a little sun and a lot of moisture from the rain the night before as you will notice on many of the photographs. I will provide many additional photographs in a link below but for now will lead you on a short tour of the facility and explain what I saw.
On passing through the entrance, immediately to the right is the Mercer Center. To your left will be the Water Lilies pond and the main entrance garden. It is here you will sign the visitor's book and if appropriate, the professional photographer's book. Reference books are available to purchase if you need a field guide; bottled drinks can be also purchased, and a map of the premises is provided free (you may need one). Click here for their online brochure. It is a nice place to stop for a rest - air conditioning! In the immediate area, you will be able to observe water plants and various other plants where butterflies, bees and birds hang out.
Here is a familiar butterfly to everyone - the Monarch. It is easy to get the Monarch confused with a few others in the Arboretum, but at this time of the year, this is the dominant species among about three similar butterflies. A checklist of butterflies normally seen at Mercer is provided by Mercer Arboretum. Click here. Take the list and a butterfly field guide with you (or purchase one there) and you will be able identify many species.
Click here for more information.
As I continue to hike to the right side of the gardens, following the brick path, I come to a place where I can veer off onto a gravel road. This will lead me to the Bamboo Gardens. I pass by the Salvia and the Endangered Species Gardens, and through the Perennial and Rock Gardens - lots of butterflies and hummingbirds.
Now we proceed into the primitive loop. There are several routes to enjoy. On this day, there is only one person on the path, jogging. I see many animal tracks in the wet earth - deer and raccoon, as well as a White Tailed Rabbit. A weary person like myself can sit down on one of the many benches for a short breather all along these trails and walkways.
Additional Photos click here - I recommend viewing them as a slide show using the full screen option
Mercer Gardens website