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.

'scene' along the way, a second look, Florida landmarks, flowers, fun, gardens, life, making memories, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, perseverance, photography

Purple flowers…

Purple flowers weren’t always my favorite, but purple and black were Charley’s high school colors, Mt. St. Joe in ‘Bawlmer’, and then when we got a football team after a long stretch without one, tough for a town like Baltimore who supports its teams, purple and black turned out to be the Raven’s colors, too. So when we moved to Florida Charley wanted only purple flowers in the yard, and I guess it rubbed off on me because that’s what catches my eye these days. I’ve been seeing photos of flowers lately, and I guess that’s what gave me the idea of going to the Nature Coast Botanical Garden today, and my first view didn’t give me a clue that there had been so much pruning going on in the garden. But once I was inside I saw all the trimmed up plants and knew that it will be a lot more colorful in the coming weeks. But it was beautiful, and there was a surprise in store.

There were lots of amaryllis everywhere I looked, not purple but gorgeous.
Shady, cool paths draw you in.
The train tracks have always been there, but on a Saturday you have a chance of catching them running the train. The conductor says his grandchildren will be visiting soon and he has lots more restoration of the village to complete before they get here.
It’s a work in progress. The train is heading for the tunnel. There is a post with a button that the kids can push to hear the train’s whistle as it passes through the town.
There are not one but two waterfalls that the train travels around.
The landscaping and plantings look freshly done.
I waited for people to walk over the bridge to take my shot. Another pretty spot in the gardens.

I will return before too long because there is a nice butterfly garden here also, and in a few weeks the flowers won’t be the only colorful photo ops here…

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…

flowers, friends, fun, gardens, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography

In the country…

My friend commented on the unusual mushrooms she had seen in her ‘yard’. I don’t know if that’s the word for it or not, it’s a lot of acres and home to three dogs, two horses, and assorted wild visitors who also seem to think of it as home. Between the mushrooms and the blooming hibiscus we decided to invade her space for a photo op.

I think a little plucking is in order. I can relate.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Camping, flowers, gardens, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, Uncategorized

Back to the Tetons…

Not actually back to the Tetons, just diving back into the photos on my phone.  I love the feature photo.  More often I saw hills to the east, that light green color mostly, with those dark evergreens following the contours of the land.  Here that color looks amazing with the mountains beyond.  There was an amazing view every time I went out to see what I could see.

Along with all the wild flowers I was surprised to see along the trails, I also enjoyed my cousin’s yard and deck where her green thumb is readily apparent.  I would love for my house to look as charming as hers does, but I’m afraid that I could never put in the work to keep it looking that way.  When I was talking to another photographer about tripods and lenses he said that I need a sherpa to carry my stuff around for me, LOL, I agreed.  For my yard to look as nice as my cousin’s does I’d need a gardener to keep it alive.  I came home determined to make some improvements to the curb appeal of my house, but I’m sitting here talking about it instead of doing something about it.  Maybe I’ll get around to it one of these days…

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On at least on occasion a moose has dropped in to enjoy this view also, and to graze through the herb garden, but not while I was there…

'scene' along the way, adventure, Camping, flowers, fun, live and learn, making memories, natural wonders, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky, travel

This and that…

As you may have guessed, my cousin is a great tour guide.  If she ever visits me in Florida I won’t have nearly the number of places to take her for adventures.  I don’t get to sit with my computer online and plugged in like I did at home, so later I will notice pictures I meant to include in a post but didn’t.  Or I will think of something I meant to say about a photo after I already posted it.  Like this one from the ski resort.

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That’s a little bit of snow nestled in a crevice there in the center.  a couple of Texas kids climbed down to some snow a lot closer to the trail than that one, and took great delight in throwing snowballs at their parents.  Of course they were excited, and therefore scaring me half to death, but their parents said that all they wanted to do on this trip was to see snow.  I also missed some other details from the resort.07-24-20flowers at the resort.jpg07-24-20hikedetailswithMary07-24-20totheresortrock.jpg

And there was a hike with Mary the day before also.07-24-20hikewithMary.jpg

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This is musk thistle, and it’s invasive.  Mary wondered if they’d given up on getting rid of it because we’ve seen it everywhere we’ve been.07-24-20muskthistle

And if you ever find yourself heading from Jackson to the Grand Targhee ski resort you will pass through the town of Victor, ID, where it would behoove you to stop at the soda shop for a ‘world famous’ huckleberry milk shake.  Of course I got one, and yes it was good. 07-24-20victorspecial.jpg07-24-20victorspecial2

See the guy in the background drinking his own huckleberry milk shake?  He recommended it and then asked if I liked it and of course I told him I did.  He said that he comes over the Teton Pass just to get his favorite milk shake!  Now that’s a fan!

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The feature photo is from the morning drive on the day of this hike with Mary.  It had stormed the night before and we didn’t expect much from the day.  But as I drove to Jackson the sky was beginning to show some promise.  It was hard to believe that those huge mountains were totally hidden when I started driving, and then they began to peek through.  And another glorious day ensued…