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June 28, 2009

I dig the U.S. Botanical Garden

orchidBefore I became a city slicker, I was a backwoods hick.

And as a backwoods hick, I've always liked plants. It's in my blood. My great-grandfather was a farmer, my grandfather was a farmer, my father was a farmer, and, for a time, I was a farmer too. Spinach, if you care to know.

If you're like me and you dig greenery, I highly recommend checking out the U.S. Botanical Garden in Washington. 

It's free (which, as we all know, makes everything better), and has a ton of wild, beautiful plants.

I think my personal favorite was the pitcher plant, a carnivorous species which grows large pitcher-shaped jugs with a saliva-like substance inside. Flies and other small creatures slip into the jugs and are digested. Yum. In the jungle, these bad boys get so big they catch rats and snakes. Dig it.

I also enjoyed the bull's horn acacia ...

These trees team up with a species of ants to help survive. The plant provides a home for the ants in its hollow, horn-shaped thorns, and makes a sweet nectar that feeds them. In return, the ants protect the plant by stinging anything that threatens it. They even clear the ground around the plant, and stop other plants from getting too close. How wild is that?

Anyhow, if you like plants (or you like taking pictures of plants), you should really check out the Botanical Garden.

(Photo of an orchid courtesy of the Botanical Garden)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:22 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Random stuff


Please not to forget Baltimore's own long-ignored charm, the Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens in Druid Hill Park, the "Victorian bird cage" right near the intersection of Druid Hill Park Drive and Gwynn Falls Parkway. Admission is by donation, quite reasonable.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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