June 30 - July 4, 1994: A Trip to Arizona, Utah and Nevada
May 12-15, 1994: A Weekend in North Carolina
Return to the Index for 1994

June 18, 1994
A Visit to the Dallas Arboretum


One thing I have always liked doing is riding my bike, and another pleasurable activity (one that Fred introuced me to) is visiting the Dallas Arboretum. Today, as we have done before, we are going to combine the two.


Getting to the Dallas Arboretum

The Dallas Arboretum is not too far from where I live over on Inwood- I'd guess about six or seven miles as the crow flies (see the map opposite)- but you can't get there as the crow flies because White Rock Lake is in the way. So you can either go through town and wind your way around the south end of the lake or you can take Mockingbird over around the north side of the lake.

Today, however, Fred and I are going to combine a bike ride with a visit to the Arboretum. So we have put the bikes in Fred's Mazda truck and taken them over to a parking area on Lawther Drive at the northwest corner of the lake. Then, we have embarked on our usual ride down the west side of the lake and across the dam and spillway at the south end, and then up along Garland Road to the Arboretum.

In this closer view, you can see the south end of White Rock Lake and you can pick out the bike trail that hugs the lake shore almost all the way around. At the south end is White Rock Lake Dam and spillway, which takes the overflow water and sends it under Garland Road to continue on down to the Trinity River.

The bike path crosses the top of the dam and then goes down through a forested area on the west side of the spillway and then along a walkway to Garland Road. Then the path goes northwest along Garland Road for about a quarter mile until it meets the park drive around the east side of the lake. Today, we'll go further beyond that drive and go on into the Arboretum.

You can also see a closer view of the Arboretum in this picture, and can begin to pick out some of the pathways through the gardens.

Finally, in this close-up aerial view of the Arboretum itself, you can see most of the major features- including the parking area just off Garland Road. I should point out that this aerial view is, of course, not from 1994, but actually from some time in the mid-2000s; but I use it on most pages involving trips to the Gardens.

The Gardens have undergone quite an expansion since we became members, and lots of the features in the aerial view at left were not actually here in 1994. But the DeGolyer House, the Camp House, and the main walkways are all now as they were in 1994. (One major addition, not even shown on this aerial view, is the new Childrens' Garden that has been constructed at the northeast end of the Arboretum's land. You can see that in this aerial view, there was a staff parking area and some maintenance facilities there before the construction of this new garden. We will visit it shortly after it opens in about sixteen years.)

You can also see the maze of pathways that criss-cross the gardens.


The Layout of the Dallas Arboretum

As you are probably already aware, I have a penchant in this photo album for tying together our pictures with other elements- such as maps, aerial views and various diagrams- so you can get a feel for where we were when a particular picture was taken. In addition to the map and aerial views above, below I have added a diagram of the Dallas Arboretum with some of the separate little gardens that make up the Arboretum marked on it:

The Arboretum opened in 1984, and has been expanding and growing ever since. Originally, the 66-acre plot created with the donation of the DeGolyer Estate and the purchase by the city of the Alex Camp House adjacent, contained only a few small gardens; much of the rest of the property was as yet undeveloped. By the time we purchased a membership in 1993, about half of the property had been developed into a series of themed gardens. This development continues. The diagram above, a version of which you will see or have seen on every album page devoted to a trip to this wonderful attraction, is a diagram current in 2013. At least two of the gardens marked on it- "A Womans Garden" and "The Nancy Rutchik Red Maple Rill" did not exist on today's visit. (The woman's garden would open in stages beginning next year, and the Red Maple Rill would not exist until 2011.) But we can still use the diagram, for the main layout of the garden has remained the same.


Pictures From Today's Visit

We wandered through the Gardens this afternoon looking for all the "Insectasaurs" that we could find. These were huge wood constructions (hence the dinosaur moniker) of various kinds of insects. They are made out of all kinds of wood, with only nuts and bolts to hold them together.

Here I am with one of the "Insectasaurs" at the Arboretum. These wood sculptures are on tour, and have been set up in the Arboretum at various locations. We went over to try to find and see all of them. Right near the entrance is the first of them, this giant spider and spider web.

Here I am with the praying mantis insectasaur; we found this sculpture near the center of the Arboretum. This picture gives you a good idea as to how big they really are.

This is not, repeat not, an insectasaur. It is Fred at one of the small fountains in the Dallas Arboretum. Fred, as you know, loves water features of any kind, including fountains, and was intrigued by this one.

This particular sculpture is of a giant dragonfly, and it is suspended out over one of the lily ponds in the Lay Family Garden. I thought it was particularly interesting that there were quite a few normal dragonflies flitting about this giant one, almost as if they recognized it.

A giant fire ant insectasaur at the Dallas Arboretum. This is a good closeup of one of these large, intricate sculptures.

Here's Fred with one of the fire ant insectasaurs. I didn't get the lighting quite right; I am not used to Fred's camera.

Here are the last couple of pictures that we took this afternoon at the Arboretum:

There were actually four or five of the giant fire ants; I hadn't noticed right away, but they were arranged to look like a trail of them coming up from White Rock Lake.

On the way back to the Arboretum entrance, we passed one of the little electric shuttles that ferry people who can't walk a great deal around the gardens; on top was this bumblebee.

It was another neat afternoon at the Arboretum.

You can use the links below to continue to another photo album page.

June 30 - July 4, 1994: A Trip to Arizona, Utah and Nevada
May 12-15, 1994: A Weekend in North Carolina
Return to the Index for 1994