A cold and gray afternoon, like the last day of November for instance, is a good time for a cycling tour of the Talking Water Gardens. Because pedestrians are almost entirely absent on the trails.
The other thing in short supply is water. Some of the upper wetland ponds or cells are completely dry, and in others there’s only what might be called a big puddle. (See the photos below.) The water level is far down in the largest pond near the entrance too.
A notice at the enrance explains what’s going on. The water level has been lowered temporarily to allow for maintenance to be done. That’s also why the waterfalls, the normally chattering voices in these gardens, are not doing any talking for the time being.
But there’s still wildlife, not including the dog in the photo at the top, strolling out of the gardens after its owner, one of only two visitors I saw Saturday. The crunching of the bike’s tires on gravel spooked a couple of fat nutria that had been sitting on the path. They scurried into the reeds before I got close.
For the history, purpose and other details of these artficial wetlands, check the Albany city website here.
Without water, and thus without ducks and visible turtles and such, the ponds now look kind of dismal, a mass of mud and dead plants. They don’t look much like a garden.
But even with very little water and no talking falls, these gardens still are a unique Albany-Millersburg attraction with winter coming on. Especially when you can cruise the nearly two miles of trails without bothering anybody wandering about on foot. (hh)