The weather forecast has been much the same lately: cold, windy, flurries, more cold, snow, cloudy, repeat. For those folks who may consider coming to Columbus for graduate school, take it from me, winters in Ohio can be a mixed bag. This winter seems particularly cold and snowy. Others bring the cold and no snow. And, other winters just give you something akin to a long November rain. All in all, this season has been tolerable. We’ve even had a chance to break out the sleds and take on our sledding hill, which slopes gently toward a never-frozen creek at the bottom. If you can survive the thrill ride, the thorny honey locusts and the briar patch at the bottom without skidding into the creek, then it’s been a successful ride. No one has taken a dunk yet, thanks in part to a natural bank at creek’s edge, but there have been moments of icy terror.
We’ll probably be hitting the slope this weekend, but for those of you looking for a break from the ice and snow, I would recommend a stroll through the Franklin Park Conservatory. This horticultural oasis is located on east Broad Street, just a few miles south of campus. Various environmental rooms take visitors through the desert, rain forest, and, starting this weekend, the conservatory will showcase an orchid forest. Don’t be shocked if your eyes take a few moments to adjust to colors other than gray or white. I love the serenity of the conservatory, the beauty of the landscapes, and the feeling of escape–especially in winter–this hothouse has to offer.