Author: Grace Williams, junior
As our small group of Honors students stood on the Alpha House lawn on Wednesday, we put worldly worries in our rearview mirror. We had just wished luck to all the students who stayed behind to do homework or attend classes, and we set off. The walk to the New York Botanical Gardens was short and laughter-filled. Upon arrival, we made our way to the gift shop and picked up our gift cards, which were purchased in advance by the Fordham Honors Program. Once the anticipation had substantially built, we went outside to begin the walk itself.
We made a bee-line for the pond where Kusama’s reflective pool was during her exhibit last year, where we saw asters, pitcher plants, and cardinal flowers (among many others!) Across from the big pond sits a formation of rocks with water flowing into a little pool. We saw dozens of tadpoles happily swimming about in the pool and wiggling their little tails, kicking silt into the water. It might just be my imagination, but they looked bigger than last week. I hope they grow up to be big and strong, like the numerous frogs we observed chilling around the pool. Some sat in the water, and others clung to the (nearly vertical) rock faces opposite us. One frog had situated itself in a current of water flowing into the pool — the image of bliss. Another frog, similarly moisturized, sat in a pile of wet moss, perfectly camouflaged.
After the thrilling frog pond adventure, we meandered through the Thain Family Forest towards the waterfall, which has been a Botans Walkover staple for over a year. We elected to go to the overlook to get a good view. The leaves-on-rocks combination made for a treacherous hike, but the destination was worth it. We peered over the railing at the waterfall and the people walking below. The leaves looked stunning silhouetted against the sky. I tried to take a picture, but it didn’t do justice for the scene before me. Just as we were about to leave, a red-tailed hawk decided to make a dramatic entrance into our line of vision. It perched on a tree maybe thirty or forty feet away from us, magically at eye level. In its talons was a rather unfortunate chipmunk. We paid our respects to the chipmunk and departed.
The sun was painting the gardens gold when we returned to the gift shop. The time we spent there was fruitful — I was particularly captivated by the array of graphic socks for $10 a pair. We set off for Fordham once more, feeling content from our moment of peace and respite.