Spend a Summer Day: Arboretum From Above

I'm not generally on campus on Mondays because that's my usual day to work at home. But I had LionPATH training scheduled for 8:30 to 3:30 on this day in the new Forestry building. It sits right across Park Avenue from the Arboretum. So I got to spend some rare Monday time on campus.

This was also one of the days of the Penn State "Spend a Summer Day" event on campus, when prospective students are invited to come and have a look around our gorgeous campus. So there was lots going on!

I am not sure I have ever been inside the Forestry building before, but I wanted to make sure I explored it thoroughly, as all of the new buildings are beautifully built, with lots of big windows, good views, and ample light.

So during breaks in my day, and at lunchtime, and after my event, I did just that. I wandered around that end of campus with my camera, also visiting the Creamery (can you say cookies 'n cream milkshake?) and the wonderful Business building next door, which I absolutely adore.

I suspected that I would discover in the Forestry building a fine view of the Arboretum across the street, and indeed I did! If you go to the wing closest to Park Ave., and go up to the fourth floor, a very fine view such as is shown above can be seen from the top of the stairwell.

Of course, I already knew about the wonderful view of the Arboretum available from the Business building next door. Same deal: go to the wing closest to Park Ave., go up to the fourth floor, step inside the stairwell, and there you go.

A word to the wise, though: block the door to the stairwell with a daysack or something, because if you close that door, you can't get back inside, you can only go down and OUT. But indeed, there are fine views from the top of the stairs, as well as from the next landing down. I  have included a larger view of the Arboretum grounds as seen from the Business building in the extras.

So here are two images, one, above, from the Forestry building. And one, in the extras, from the Business building. They are bookends, sort of, to some fine views of the Arboretum, and I highly recommend them!

I often try to take pictures that have no people in them. But somehow for these shots, I preferred having figures moving upon the landscape. I snapped away quite happily, watching families come and go from the Arboretum. I admit I was charmed by them.

In the extra photo, there are at least five small groups of people. In the one above, there is just the one family group hanging out near the fountain. You can see the kids dangling their feet in the water. I found that somehow pleasing. :-)

You can see the pretty little Glass House in the upper right; that's where the Christmas tree, decorated with ornaments hand-made by local children, is displayed in December. The colorful transformation canopy above the entrance to Childhood's Gate is visible just to the left of the Glass House.

You know, they say that the astronauts who viewed the Earth from space came back with an entirely new appreciation for it: for this beautiful, blue marble we swirl around on through space and time. They were forever changed by what they saw.

The change involved a new perspective, a shift in awareness. In seeing it in its totality, they found our planet somehow even more vulnerable and charming and precious than before. There is actually a name for this phenomenon. It's called the overview effect, and here are a few quotes from those who have been there and experienced it.

I have never been to space, but I have to admit that the sight of "my" gardens from an unfamiliar vantage point above filled me with happiness and awe. It is such a green space. It is so lovely. It is such a wonderful space to hang out in, alone, or with a friend or family.

I love the gardens in every season. I love them from the ground. I love them from the air. I am always seeking new vantage points and new ways to see and appreciate this space that I love. There is much joy to be had in viewing something very, very familiar . . . from a distance.

The song: Bette Midler, From a Distance.

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