Monday, August 13, 2012

Cox Arboretum and Miamisburg, Ohio

Storms have been moving across the Dayton area since Friday bringing temperatures down into the high eighties, but certainly not much of any measurable rain.  Sunday afternoon there was no dark clouds hanging above us as there had been Saturday, so John and I decided on visiting the Cox Arboretum Metro Park of Dayton.  The Butterfly House was our first stop in the gardens.  We saw mainly monarch butterflies and only one swallowtail.  A docent in the house explained that it had been an unusual winter with some very warm temperatures followed by freezing weather, which seemed to have cut down their butterfly collection.  Recently a large number of monarchs have made their appearance.
The docent pointed out to us a spicebush swallowtail caterpillar, which was busy munching on some dill.
We hiked through some forest trails in the arboretum, and enjoyed seeing the formal gardens.  However, most fascinating to us was Zip the dog.  He is a border collie trained to keep the geese out of the ponds.  He has been trained well, no one can distract him from his appointed rounds.  Calling his name or offering him a treat does not stop him, he zips in a continuous pattern around the ponds and stops only for a dunk in the water to cool off.  I was very impressed watching him!  No geese were seen in the arboretum.
From the arboretum we drove to Miamisburg where a prehistoric Native Indian mound (1000BC-400AD) was discovered in 1869.  Eight feet from the top of the mound was found the burial site of a bark-covered skeleton.  The mound is currently 65 feet high.  The CCC built stairs up the hill, we climbed all of the 117 steps.  From the the mounds we drove into the town, which was established in 1818.   A beautiful 40-foot long mural on one of the buildings greeted us as we drove into the town square.  A portion of it is pictured below,  it displays the Indian mound which we had just seen.  The boys on skateboards are part of the mural.  After walking all over the small town, which has kept many of its century old buildings, we had supper at Ron's Pizza restaurant,  which we highly recommend to anyone visiting Miamisburg, Ohio!

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