Thursday, January 23, 2014

Short Trips Around Zurich - Part I: The Botanic Garden

 When we first moved here we visited the Zoo several times, and we see the parks & lake & hiking trail that are close to our house daily. In the spring and fall we look for snails, and roller blade, and when there is snow we sled down the many hills around here, and in the summer we swim or row an inflatable boat on the lake. Of course, Fallanden is very beautiful,  and I know I have been lucky to rent a house in such an area, but somehow when we see the same sights every day we stop appreciating their beauty and crave new things.

So, I have started a program where every few weekends we try to visit something new. Since we returned from Martinique we have been jet-lagged and sick, and hence I have midnight time to document the part of this program that is already completed and perhaps plan new things while the children are stuck in the house. I will write about one objective per post, which might mean I will never finish documenting everything.

My poster 
The last trip we made was to the Botanic Garden. You might think this is not such a good idea in winter, but in Zurich the Botanic Garden is beautiful year round. I even chose to make a poster about this in my German class - which is, of course, in German. My German is not particularly good. So, if you know German well  and think I am wrong, you are probably correct. I hope you won't mind my errors too much, though. The poster is not too good either. I felt like a first grader making it, but it was fun to speak about it. I would say it marked the most useful German class I have had so far because I was forced into conversation for more than an hour. They should do that more often.

What did we see? or more exactly what I remember from what we saw....

The botanic garden is really big with lots of room for the children to run and play. While it's beautiful in winter it must be amazingly beautiful in spring when it's full of flowers.

The Carnivorous plants.
 1. Carnivorous plants. The kids were really excited because we had
The Kaki fruits. None fell down.
done extensive reading on the subject. The children also had some seeds of Carnivorous plants with soil and instructions from a friend, but they did not grow. They were disappointed at not seeing any bugs in the carnivorous plants area. Such plants do have a dormant period lasting 3-5 months every year. Also, if they are not allowed to catch their own food, which I suppose it's common when in-doors, they need to be feed only every month or so.

2. Japanese Kaki tree. This was outside and had lots of fruits. I did not believe it was possible to grow one in the Zurich climate and produce so many fruits. They appeared ripe. Although there were none on the ground. Lisa had such a tree when I visited her in California with lots of big really tasty fruits. They called them persimmons.

3. A bee nest and lots of wasp nests. Wasps nest in almost anythings from bricks to wood, but it's impressive to see so many wasp nests all on one shelf (see picture on the bottom right side of the poster).

They also had lots of other plants in the green houses, and some ants. A friendly cat came by and allowed the children to pet it. We also saw fish in two small aquariums at the entrance. There was lots of space outside, too, which was very nice.

 Running around the Botanic Garden
Overall, it is a very beautiful place that we should visit again soon. It is large, but not so large that it makes the children so tired that they are cranky and angry by the time we get home.

Of course, I do have a few proposals to write this month, and several projects to finish. And I know this blog is becoming a bit too personal. But you will hear about my projects soon enough, i.e., as soon as the relevant papers get submitted/accepted. Besides, writing on the blog is always a way to procrastinate, which I am really good at (the procrastination, not the writing). 

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