adventure, birds, butterflies, Charleston views, exploring new places, flowers, fun, gardens, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens…

The last time I was in Charleston missed the turn into my cousin’s development, but that meant I drove right past this gem of a place. I knew I’d want to visit when I came back this time. It was founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, and consequently endured and survived our county’s history as the country was born, and as it struggled with the American Revolution as well as the Civil War. It’s said to be the oldest public garden in the county, opening in 1870, and continuing today.

The beautiful wisteria caught my eye when I arrived.
And this bench was a pretty sight also.
But the peacocks were calling me. You could hear them throughout the garden, so I went to the little zoo before I went exploring.
Nature does provide us with beautiful creatures.
Three of them were strutting their stuff, but this gal didn’t seem to be impressed.
Come walk with me.
Such a pretty view.
I loved this pond with it’s beautiful reflections.
And this red bridge with cascades of flowers dripping from it.
I took so many pictures of this bridge.
Come around a bed in the path and you come upon another pretty scene.
I thought of ‘Tiptoe through the tulips’,except they are azaleas. They really were a little past their prime, but still so amazingly beautiful.
You might need a rest by now.
There was a $20 charge for the gardens, in which I walked 2 1/2 miles. But for an extra charge you might want to tour the house, or take this boat tour, or walk the Audubon swamp tour, and/or more. I can return once more using my ticket, so I want to go back, but I don’t know which tour I want to choose.
There were lots of these fat bumble bees around, and I was happy to see them since they’ve seemed scarce anywhere I’ve been lately. And they gave me a reason to concentrate on the flowers themselves.
This was a very long distance shot from the wildlife observation tower. The horses were the only wildlife I saw.
The family tomb.
Another pretty path to lure you in. I’m sure I missed more paths than I actually walked.
And after walking paths with lots of helpful signage, I eventually was off by myself, on paths with no signage, and hopefully not lost, but I found a butterfly…

I’ve hardly put a dent in the pictures I took today. It was a good day.

a second look, birds, brainstorms, bubbles, butterflies, coping, fantasy images, fun, perseverance, photography, technology


I think I’m the queen of brainstorms. Take the last few days for example. I had a brilliant idea about how to reduce the glare while I’m working on the computer in the afternoon, so I measured, incorrectly as it turned out, and ordered blinds for the window in question. Then I totally turned the room upside down, which is my first step in any home ‘improvement’ project, and then I figured out that it wasn’t going to work out after all. Then I had to put everything back as it was, which required my uncle to come rescue me when I couldn’t drill a new hole for a screw. I’ve always known I had a screw loose but I try to hide it. So a day of tearing this place apart, a day of procrastinating, and finally a day of putting things back together.

Another brilliant idea came when decided that I wanted to find a picture of stripes and use that as a background to see what it would look like through the lens ball. I googles images of stripes and then didn’t like the results, but it dawned on me to look at my own photos as a background, and that amused me for another day and a half. Most didn’t work, but a few did. So I guess I’m batting .500 for the last couple of days…

a second look, butterflies, Florida landmarks, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, nature, perseverance, photography

Christmas at the botanical gardens….

There were actual Christmas decorations and Christmas trees to enjoy, but it was the abundance of red flowers at the botanical garden that put me in the spirit.

Not all the flowers were red however. And I enjoy the overall beauty of the place more than anything.

I wish a Merry Christmas to all, and a fresh start to a kinder, gentler New Year, at least I hope so…

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, blessings, boats, butterflies, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, sky, weather

Birds on the beach…

Among my recent adventures was another trip to the Seacoast Seabird Sanctuary. We were nearby and my friend hadn’t yet had a chance to go there, so off we went. It is fun to see birds up close, especially knowing that these birds aren’t able to live in the wild for one reason or another. There is beach access from the sanctuary, and as you can see the summer crowds are gone, and perhaps the influx of winter visitors will also be fewer this year. Conversation yesterday revealed that lots of people don’t expect much improvement in the COVID-19 situation in 2021, which I hope is an exaggeration but I suspect it may be true. The lack of tourists might make for nice photos, but our economy is suffering. I’m sure that we will make it through this, but for now we just have to plod along. And mask up.

They sky has been dramatic lately, prettier than the camera wants to see it in these pictures. I love to see sky reflected in the water. And a butterfly, because it was there…

a second look, butterflies, fantasy images, fun, gardens, nature, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, perseverance, photography, simple things, weather

Fall in Florida…

There has been lots of fall foliage in my Facebook feed lately, but mostly from New England and Michigan. And just today my Facebook memories reminded me of the trees I used to see on my way home from work that I used to claim as fall color, Florida style. So today I rode up to Spring Hill to find the trees, and then headed to the botanical garden to see what was blooming.

I think the color of the trees disappointed me a little, it’s more brown than red. I think that the glimpse of those trees that you see behind houses, or hidden among other trees, always seems to be brighter fall colors. But when I haven’t been up north for a while it feels like fall to me.

The botanical garden was a surprise today. It was early and the flowers were plentiful and loaded with water droplets, and butterflies.

That orange butterfly must have been hungry because he let me get a lot of photos of him. And one photo was straight down on his back, and when I viewed it blown up in the computer all I could do was say, “Boo!” Halloween will be here soon…

And while I was zooming and cropping I loved these droplets too!

'scene' along the way, adventure, bugs, butterflies, Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Preserve, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, nature, perseverance, photography

Into the woods…

I tagged along with my friends into the woods at the Chassahowitzka Wildlife preserve yesterday, which always involves lots of fun. And bugs, lots of bugs. We took pictures of some of them and swatted many more.

And not only bugs, we also found a deer, a fox squirrel, and we had to search but we did find the baby alligators we were looking for. I can almost say that they are cute, but they are alligators so they won’t be cute for long. And they were calling for their mother, I think we were distressing them. We didn’t see her though, but chances are good that she wasn’t far away.

You do have to wonder what happened here. Maybe someone was extra anxious to jump in the water at Eagle’s Nest for some scuba diving. Or something like that…