The day at Kew

Trip Start Oct 02, 2011
Trip End Oct 27, 2011

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Wednesday, October 5, 2011

We decided to spend the day at Kew Gardens, an old favorite. It was a very Seattle sort of day--cool, breezy, bursts of sun between the clouds, and benign teases of rain.

The first place we headed to was the Xstrata Treetop Walk (I have no idea what Xstrata means).  You climb 118 stairs, which gets you about 60 feet above the ground, and then strut around a big circular walkway that goes through the high branches of the chestnuts and elms and eucalypti.  We walked on a sort of metal mesh with holes in it big enough to give someone like me a good dose of the queasies.  But the views were really lovely.  I took a photo of Annie across the walkway from where I was, both wide-angle and then closer up--see the pix.

Also, I'm excited to report finding a world's superlative at 60 feet:  See the photo we took of a cast of the world's largest pine cone that was mounted on the railing of the walkway.  (I promise a daily photo of a world's superlative, as long as I keep finding them).

Then, safely back on terra firma, we walked and walked and walked among the hundreds of species of trees and many ponds and huge Victorian greenhouses. On several occasions insouciant peacocks and pheasants blocked our way.  And there were of course the squirrels and other strutting and scurrying things. 

All the critters made me think of our sweet kitties at home.  Speaking of which, when the temperature cooled I extracted the fleece vest out of my backpack and put it on.  Noticed a cat hair, which I carefully removed and ceremoniously dropped to the ground.  Thus, there's a tiny bit of Rosy Clinic or Patchy Noodle resting somewhere in Kew Gardens, along with its associated antigens and bacteria and undoubtedly other microorganisms.  Made me wonder about what we as tourists inadvertently leave behind on our travels--both the physical and the non-physical stuff--and how these subtle leavings might possibly affect the places we've been over the years.

And, of course, the corollary: I think about all the many things, both material and ethereal, we intentionally and inadvertently pick up as we make our way around the world or the city or the house, and how we are affected by them, both in obvious and in unknowable ways.
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rossport on

excellent blog so far and Xstrata is one of the worlds leading mining companies so i would assume they either helped build the walk way or they sponsor its maintenance, love the close ups

Emily on

Stunning photographs~!

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