The Arboretum

On Nonny’s last full day in Minneapolis, we went out to The Arboretum. I have always thought I absorbed my love of gardening from her. She never asked me to participate, but I remember the work she put into her roses, her flowering trees and her vegetable plot.

It was a perfect day for it – not too hot and not too sunny. We took some advice from Lou and did the tram tour before we did anything else. We took the tour driver’s advice and sat in the very back row for the best view and the best sound quality. Nonny loved all the different trees, especially ones with “character” and I marveled at how much of the arboretum there really is!

One of the special exhibits this summer is Gardens of Kaleidoscopes – 15 fabulous sculptures that combine lovely floral arrangements in movable containers within structures that also hold kaleidoscopes. You look through the kaleidoscopes and then slowly spin the flowers (well, you don’t have to do it slowly a little boy of seven showed us). It was amazing and as always when confronted by art, I wonder how the artist thought of the idea in the first place.

View Through Kaleidoscope

What would YOU like to see through a kaleidoscope?

27 thoughts on “The Arboretum”

  1. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    That is a fun exhibit–I especially liked the multi-colored flower pots under the kaleidoscope. When I was a kid I had kaleidoscopes (cardboard kind) through which I viewed my parents’ faces, my brother’s dirty diapers, dandelions, my hula hoop. It was all fascinating through the lens. I remember playing with those for hours until it invariably broke and Christmas came around again, when Santa delivered the parent-approved toy. My mother was very strict about “appropriate toys.” Kaleidoscopes and books were on the approved list. Comic books, foosball, hand held or home-based arcade games, were on the unapproved list.

    So my answer is I would look at anything through a kaleidoscope lens.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. My furniture, throw rugs, pictures on the walls, throw pillows – any brightly colored thing especially if it’s a solid color – then I can really see how the kaleidoscope breaks it up.

    I too can remember my first kaleidoscope, looking at these things mentioned above, and out the windows of the house we were in. I still don’t quite understand how they work.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. As a kid, our family had a kaleidoscope in what we called The Sick-in-Bed-Box, a box of stuff we got to use only when we were sick enough to stay in bed for the day (or week, depending on what we had). It was the kind with bits of colored glass in it, not the kind where you could look at real-life objects. It was my favorite toy in that box.

    But if I had one of those kaleidoscopes where you can look at things, I would take it outside and look at flowers and birds and trees and lakes and rivers and waterfalls through it. And then I would start experimenting with taking pictures through it.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. A kaleidoscope is just three strips of mirror attached along the edges in a tube. all the other parts are just to make it more stable easier to handle & look through. If you had a way to attach that mirror tube to your lens, say by mounting it on a surplus lens hood, you’d have your kaleidoscope attachment.
          You’d have to experiment with how long to make the tube (the longer, the less light would reach the lens) to get optimal effect but that would certainly be doable.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. As I said, maybe you could use a surplus lens hood as the mount and attach the mirror assembly to that.


        3. What I meant to ask was how to attach the mirror to the lens hood. (Sorry, poor wording previously.)


        4. Here’s one possibility:
          Once you had assembled the equilateral triangular tube of mirrors and perhaps fit them in a lightweight tube of some sort, I imagine you might be able to cut a piece of high density foam to fit in the lens hood, perhaps gluing it in and then cut a tunnel down the center to fit the mirror assembly snugly. On the camera side of the mirror assembly, you might want to put a cap over that end with a hole cut in the center that has a diameter equal to the largest possible circle you could fit into the equilateral triangle of the mirrors. That would mask the parts outside of the triangle.


      1. Yes. Of course that was back when kids caught things like mumps and measles and other things that would last several days. I was a lot lazier in my parenting – when the kids were sick, it was videos and books. Of course, they generally weren’t sick in bed for days on end, usually just a day or two at a time. One daughter did have recovery time after a surgery, but she had just graduated from high school and was able to more or less entertain herself.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Such a great idea but never needed at my house – Child was never sick. The very few times she didn’t feel well all happened after school or on a weekend and never lasted longer than a few hours.

          In fact, once the school called me to say that she was not feeling well. I already knew that many kids in the grade above hers had gotten sick on a school trip, but didn’t seem possible she could have caught anything from one of them. When I got to school she was sitting in the office, along with another girl who was, how do I put this delicately, “an instigator”, so then I was even more suspicious. I took Child out to the hall and asked her to tell me how she was… not too much detail and she didn’t look like a kid w/ norovirus. I said “OK, well then let’s go home and put you to bed with no tv so you can get some rest. And because it’s a stomach sickness you’ll get toast and hot water for dinner to make sure we don’t upset your stomach more.” Her eyes got big and she decided she was feeling better RIGHT THEN. Even went back to class!

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I always told our children that they could only stay home from school if they had a fever. Our daughter was a consummate actress, and no matter how sick she looked, the thermometer always said 97.6°, and off to school she went. . Imagine my sense of guilt when I discovered that the thermometer was broken and never went higher than 97.6°!

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Yes, I can be very sick indeed and not have a fever so I couldn’t be too hard nosed about it if a kid said she was sick but didn’t have a fever.


        4. I think the need is definitely less now and when my kids were growing up than when I was a kid. I am pro-vaccine and my kids got vaccines that didn’t exist when I was young. Plus I was never organized enough to get a sick-in-bed box created and the worst thing my kids got, besides the one-or-two day tummy upsets, was chickenpox. The best thing about sick kids? They sleep more than usual.


  4. Not a kaleidoscope but kaleidoscopic in its richness:
    When Robin and I traveled to Dubuque on an overnight getaway recently, one of our destinations in that city was St. Luke’s Methodist Church where there are around 100 stained glass windows produced by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The quality and sophistication of the work was exceptional:

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I’d like to take a kaleidoscope to a glassmaker’s exhibit – Dale Chihuly or someone of that ilk.

    As to mounting a kaleidoscope on a camera – you don’t really need to do that. Use a camera phone with a kaleidoscope app. They make them for iPhone and Android. It takes a triangular slice of your image and mirrors it. They have a app for everything.


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