Ancient Cycad

Ancient Cycad

I toured the botanical gardens today, but I had a heck of a time getting there. The road was closed on Kingshighway, due to I-44 construction. A cop shunted me onto the highway, sending me back from where I had come from. I got off at the next exit and begin working my way through the Hill neighborhood. I made it back to Kingshighway. This time on the other side of the roadblock. I was headed north on Vandeventer, when I spied another I-44 roadblock ahead. I made a quick turn into the garden’s neighborhood, only to realize that I had turned the wrong way onto a one-way street. I got off that street and worked my way through the garden’s neighborhood and eventually made it to the gardens.

The gardens were delightfully uncrowded, like the calm before the storm. The storm being this holiday weekend’s Japanese festival, probably the garden’s biggest event of the year. Everything was already setup in expectation of the gathering crowds, but that’s tomorrow. Today was peaceful. I missed seeing the performers, just not the crowds. I took lots of pictures, none of which were photobombed. On my way out, I toured the Climatron and spied this cycad. I’ve seen similar plants, but their bulb was always red, not white. A garden’s employee informed me that this cycad had come from the 1904 World’s Fair. I exclaimed, “So, it’s over a hundred years old?” She said that it was way older than that, maybe 500 years old, because it came full grown to the fair. I guess after the fair, Shaw’s garden must have claimed it from whatever exhibit it had come from. I had no problems getting home, because I followed our normal bike route until I was past I-44 and could jump on I-64, to go home.

After lunch, I went for a bike ride in the park. It too was relatively uncrowded. I base this observation on the fact that I was passed by fewer other cyclists than on either of the two previous days. I had hoped to see some of the bike racers who are in town for this weekend’s races, but nada.