We very much enjoyed our visit to the Asheville Arboretum, having learned from the library that a model railroad exhibit was running. A long driveway takes you to the visitor’s center, passing first through an admission gate. They charge by the car, at a reasonable rate, though we had a pass that was given out at the library. We went to the welcome center and got a map. The lady at the desk explained how to get to the train exhibit, and she also recommended the monarch butterfly exhibit, and of course the bonsai collection.
The model village was very well done, with many small cultivated bonsai trees adding to the realism of the miniature town. Two trains went around the track, maintaining separate routes as the circled the village and the mountains and forests beyond.
The bonsai collection was exquisite, with a far greater varieties of trees than I was expecting. In fact, I didn’t really know that bonsai is the art of pruning a miniature tree, not a type of tree. The Arboretum had dozens of species on display, each highlighting the notable features of a particular tree.
We took a nice walk through the woods, stopping to examine mushrooms (we found lots of puffballs), climbed through a hollow tree, and looked at some of the little forest shelters someone had built in a few places around the woods. The idea is simple, though I can’t see how it would keep rain out very well. Maybe just to trap warmth on a cold night…
It was a fine day. Our walk only took us through one section of the Arboretum, and sometime I’d like to get back out there to see the rest of the grounds. North Carolina has such beautiful forests, and I never tire of walking on a serene wooded path.