Getting a bird’s eye view

The fall colors are at their height in the Philadelphia region.  Here’s one way to take it all in. 

Out on a Limb is the name of a canopy walkway at Morris Arboretum near Chestnut Hill that soars through the upper branches of the trees. Director Paul Meyers strolls 50 feet above the forest floor on steel grating.

“One thing we heard from families is that the kids said, we want it to be dangerous. We want it to be scary. But of course as director I want to make it safe. But this open grate that gives you the feeling that – I mean, there are some adults who won’t go out here because they can’t look down through that open grate. “

The walkway won two prestigious design awards, from the American Association of Museums and the American Institute of Architects. From it, you can get a birds-nest view of, for example, Japanese Maples which have barely started to turn, and Sugar Maples which have already dropped. Meyers says the trees suffered during the summer.

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“This year we had drought, that led to some trees turning brown prematurely and dropping prematurely. Sometimes stress leads to more fall colors, but too much stress can diminish fall colors.”

Don’t blink or you’ll miss it. In two or three weeks all the leaves could very well be on the ground.

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