penjing, bonsai and hungry koi

after a regular (and, thankfully, fruitful) homeschool day
we decided to head back to the US national arboretum
to feed the koi in the aquatic garden.

all of the koi, it seemed, were well-trained to gather near passersby
expecting the fish food that many of them did not need.
there were several koi bigger than my 1 year old!
the large ones tumbled over each other near the edge of the pond,
their mouths making sucking sounds in the air,
while the smaller ones skirted the edge of the rumbling mound of
orange, gold, gray, black and white.

afterward we took a stroll through the bonsai & penjing museum.

there were beautifully-shaped trees older than — but not as beautiful as — my mother.

it looks like a panoramic scene from an epic movie, but is about as tall as a table lamp.

on the way out we took a slow detour through the conifer collection.

we plan to return yet again with sketch books in hand
to capture the beauty of arboreal nature,
and perhaps take a autumn stroll through fern valley.

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