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Blog At the Museum

Wander Away now open

Passing by the Sailboat Pond, you may have noticed “Exhibit in Progress” signs on the east side of the path. Behind that fence, our landscaping team has been hard at work crafting pathways and plant beds for a new nature experience. This work started during our 2020 shutdown, giving the plants time to mature and establish over the winter.

Now the wait is over – summer is here and the Wander Away pollinator path is open to the public. How can you enjoy this new exhibit?

Take a moment. Wander Away is calm, quiet, and shady – a great place to cool off after a busy day at Earth Moves. Pause for a minute and notice what your senses can tell you. With your eyes closed, can you tell how the wind is blowing? Can you feel the difference when you step from shade to sun? Do you recognize any of the animal sounds you hear?

Look closer. Wander Away is part of the Museum’s “Pollinator Pathway.” Native flowering plants line the path and native bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds come to visit them. Ask a ranger to help you identify the different species you see. Listen closely, too — there may be frogs or insects singing in the shade of the tall plants.

Follow the sun. Sun exposure shapes the growth of a garden. Notice where the trees cast shadows, and which plant species grow beneath them. Compare flowers growing on the north and south face of the hill – which side grows taller? Look for heliotropic flowers that turn to follow the sun through the sky.

Look up. The Museum campus is a patchwork of exhibits and natural habitats. Many birds nest in the forest on the edges of campus but travel to the wetland to look for food. Sit for a minute and watch the sky – you may see a heron, hawk, or songbird fly past.