Sunday, May 4, 2014

Duke Farms

Today, I went to Duke Farms, an impeccably maintained nature conservatory in Hillsborough, New Jersey. This more than 18 mile stretch of privately-owned open land is beautiful to behold, with well-marked trails and paths and overflowing with interesting vistas, sculptures, trees, waterfalls, and so much more to photograph. Oh, and it's free! Are you ready to take a tour?

I started at the Orientation Center, which is connected to the parking lot. 

After getting a map (invaluable), I crossed over Dukes Parkway West and headed into the preserve. My first stop was the Hay Barn an eye-catching structure that houses a cool sculpture garden:

Then it was off to the Orchid Range, which houses numerous types of orchids and, aside from feeling like an Amazon rain forest, had colors that have to be seen to be believed:

Next, it was on to the Old Foundation, so-called because a mansion was supposed to be built atop the foundation, but never was. The foundation itself is now covered in various plants, flora and fauna, and the trees that would have made up the backyard were in peak bloom:

As I mentioned earlier, there are numerous sculptures on the grounds, here are three more, the so-called "Blue Boy" statute (also known as the "Thorn Extractor"), a statue of the Greek goddess Athena, and the "Durham Bull" (which looked particularly interesting juxtaposed against all the color surrounding it):

Lastly, there are many bodies of water on site, lovely tree stands and even the occasional woodpecker. Check 'em out!

I really enjoyed my visit to Duke Farms, a true New Jersey treasure!

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