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The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, a woodland sanctuary on the James Madison University campus, is a public urban garden and forested greenspace that preserves native plants species, provides opportunities for research, and promotes knowledge of the botanical and natural world for people of all ages.

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  1. Jim Stimpert / Apr 22 2011 8:26 pm

    On the mornings of April 13 & 14, I enjoyed two wonderful visits to the Arboretum. I came from Baltimore, heading toward Lexington to visit a friend. I was looking for a place to do some photography (nature photography is my hobby) for a couple of days before hitting Lexington, and my friend suggested the E. J. Carrier Arboretum. So I checked into a nearby hotel and hit the gardens in earnest on the 13th. Despite it being more cloudy than predicted, I had a great time. The Dutchman’s Breeches were all on the clothesline and I got some excellent shots from ground level, with water droplets on the foliage and the sun breaking through from behind. That night, the sky cleared and on the morning of the 14th, everything was covered with heavy dew. With a macro lens, I photographed bluebells, wild bleeding hearts, trillium sessile, large-flowered trillium, and other flowers. Using a technique called Extended Depth of Field, I took a series of images of each scene, adjusting the focus slightly in each shot. Then, I combined the images in Photoshop, resulting in scenes with incredible depth of field.

    This was my first visit to the Arboretum, but I hope it will not be my last. One of the practical things I appreciated was the paths covered with wood chips rather than gravel. Much of my photography is done from my knees, and gravel is torture. The wood chips were much more kind to my joints. Thank you to everyone who tends and oversees these beautiful gardens!

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