Eastern Colorado is a piece of Americana that few tourists ever visit. I decided to visit my cousin who lives in Merino, a small farming community in northeast Colorado. The farming areas in the Midwest and particularly the eastern plains of Colorado are justly called the heartland of America. The pace of life is slow but not without it’s pleasures. This is big sky country, equal to the best skies in Montana. There is a marked difference between north-eastern and south-eastern Colorado in that the south is much drier. There are about twenty-five million acres in Colorado east of the Rocky Mountains. This area consists mainly of high rolling prairies broken by numerous stream beds that are generally dry, except immediately following rains when for a few hours the streams become torrents. The altitude ranges from about 4,000 feet above sea level at the eastern line of the state to 6,000 feet at Colorado Springs. Along the two main rivers, the Platte in the north and the Arkansas in the south, there are numerous small lakes and irrigation channels.
When we got to Hobart, Tasmania we decided to roam around. One of attractions we decided to visit was the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Grardens, mainly for the Japanese Garden, the highlight of the garden and the subject of the photo above. The sheltered, landscaped grounds of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens hold historic plant collections and a large number of significant trees, many dating from the nineteenth century. It also has an increasing number of important conservation collections of Tasmanian plants and the world’s only Subantarctic Plant House. Prior to European settlement local Aboriginal tribes used the site, and traces of their occupation are still apparent. A number of historic structures, including two convict-built walls, date back to the Gardens’ earliest days.