'scene' along the way, a second look, flowers, following the rules, gardens, nature, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, Passing time, perseverance, photography, storms, weather

Flowers…

Another stop at the botanical garden up the road from me. This time there were no butterflies stopping for photos, but the flowers were gorgeous.

I noticed this bluebird as soon as I arrived. He must be new.
This looks like a firecracker to me.
How pretty is this?
You can be sure to find some shade should you decide to visit.
I thought the butterflies found these pagoda plants irresistible, but they didn’t seem interested in landing on them this day.
I absolutely love plumbago flowers.
This squirrel was at eye level and stayed totally still for me. I guess he thought he was hiding behind that branch.

My friend suggested that I work on all the photos I have and get them ready in case we lose electricity with a hurricane heading into the gulf. So I took his advice, but without electricity where will those photos go? I guess I will unplug the computer and hope they are waiting for me after the storm. But for now we watch the weather forecasts and get as ready as we can, and wait…

a second look, butterflies, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, making memories, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, perseverance, photography, technology

Butterfly garden…

The thought of another rainy day had me a little down in the dumps yesterday. But when the sun came out in the early afternoon we decided to go to the Nature Coast Botanical Garden with our cameras. The last time I was there they had recently pruned all the greenery back, and I thought it looked a bit sad. This time the greenery was lush, almost overgrown, and the butterflies were seemingly frantic in their activity. The feature photo is the two black butterflies who were in constant motion, chasing each other and flitting from flower to flower. After the fact I thought of the adjustments I might have made in the camera to help stop the action, fearing I hadn’t gotten any sharp photos. I’m actually surprised to have gotten a couple.

I guess they slowed down a little.
This garden has the luxury of lots of shade, and many tables and benches that you might chose to stop at to relax. You might even bring lunch. I used to pass this garden almost every time I left the house, now it’s a little out of the way, but not too far.
I love this little castle planter. I can’t resist taking a picture every time I visit.
This sculpture is finished now, carved out of the trunk of a tree that stood here. What a beautiful addition to the garden.
While my friend looked at the train garden I was excited to see this big yellow butterfly, who posed rather nicely for me.
I really didn’t get as many good shots of him as I thought I had. The new camera has a ‘joy stick’ that you can move with your thumb to adjust your focus. It’s not natural for me to use that yet so I cut off pieces of his wings in a lot of shots.
The train garden sits like a little oasis surrounded by the train tracks. The owner runs the trains on Saturdays, at least some Saturdays, and there is a button the kids can push to make the sound of the train whistle. Tucked away in that foliage are two little waterfalls, but you will have to take my word for it since they were well hidden.
This train station seems new to me. Those passengers will have to wait a while for the next train.

It’s a treat to get outside even for a little while. And dinner with the photo group finished the day off perfectly.

'scene' along the way, a second look, attention to detail, bugs, butterflies, flowers, fun, gardens, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens…

A friend who lives in Maine and is an avid gardener took me to visit this wonderful botanical garden three years ago when I was camping in Maine. She found me the nice camp ground also. So she will be ashamed of me when she discovers that when I saw the little sign pointing out the turn for a botanical garden it never dawned on me that it was THAT botanical garden that they were talking about. If I’d have known that I would have made a better plan to go there. As it was my friend asked if I wanted to go see it, and we only had an hour and a half to enjoy it before it closed. It was time enough to to see some beautiful displays, and more than a few bees.

And butterflies too!
Simple, but beautiful.
More bees, because I can’t resist them.
Lots of wonderful settings also.
And a scary new addition to the gardens.
And a water feature.
I know, I’m addicted to bees.
Such a beautiful dark purple on these flowers.
The varieties were endless.
These caught my eye, but so did those dark purple flowers… and the yellow flowers.
He must have photo bombed my shot.
A nice peaceful setting.
I was so happy to see that this quaint little building was still there, with it’s kitty-faced pickets on the fence.
I like pink flowers too.
I love how this one is constructed.
Last but not least, an orange beauty.

If you ever get to visit this place make sure to leave yourself plenty of time, you will be glad you did.

adventure, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, life goes on, making memories, perseverance, photography, weather

Dandelion wishes…

My wishes for this trip, aside from just lots of time to relax and talk with my ‘old’, interpret that as you will, friend, was to see forsythia and lilacs. The forsythia are everywhere, though possibly past their prime, but plenty wonderful, and the lilacs are trying their best to open up.

Smells so good!
And as gorgeous as I remember.
I do notice the backgrounds for my photos and adjust myself when possible, but sometimes a lion with a pretty tree behind it is too much to resist.
A blue ox was not on my wish list, but sometimes you just take what you get.

We enjoyed an arts and crafts festival in lovely Warner, NH yesterday. I seem to have brought the Florida heat with me, but nothing could spoil this time with my friend. Being together is like getting your batteries recharged. It won’t be as long between visits from this point on.

'scene' along the way, flowers, fun, gardens, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, perseverance, photography

Easter flowers…

We took a quick Sunday ride to the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens before Easter dinner. It was a quiet way to spend the day, with flowers and butterflies.

I liked seeing more than one color flowers on the bush.
Lots of flowers but not so many bees to see.
Seems the red-ish flowers caught my eye.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the same butterfly that kept coming back to the bushes, much to my delight.
Back he came again.
And again.
It seems his wing was damaged, but he flew around at will anyhow.
A sweet angel for Easter.
And this charming castle always makes me smile.
The statue is done now, no ‘crime scene tape’ around it anymore.
The little waterfalls in the shade are so hard to capture.
I took a picture of the gazing ball and someone was gazing back at me.

I hope all had a peaceful Easter, with family and friends. Time just keeps passing…

'scene' along the way, a second look, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, Just do it, life goes on, marriage, nature, perseverance, photography, turtles, unintended images

Much ado in the gardens…

We were promised a weekend of perfect weather and that came true, but with spring break in full swing, an AirFest at McDill AFB for the first time in a couple of years, plus a Pride Parade, all happening in downtown Tampa on Saturday, we were worried about traffic. So we wimped out and the Florida Botanical Garden was our destination yesterday. There weren’t so many flowers, but the scenery was pretty.

Gorgeous weather, high 70’s and low humidity.
That must be perfect water lily weather because they looked like they were taking over the world.
It’s free to come here and sit quietly and read a book, which is what I saw people doing.
Okay, there were some flowers. Light Bulb Clerodendrum with a few pinwheel jasmine thrown in.
The bougainvillea are coming back from a cold couple of nights not long ago.
There were full trees of bush allamanda.
Yellow hibiscus. Yellow flowers took the day I think.
I love it when bumble bees land on purple flowers.
The lilies were so pretty that I just had to take their picture along the water, but even as I took the picture I knew they really wouldn’t show up.
A cardinal serenaded us.
Mama alligator, which I might have ignored if people hadn’t been excited to see her babies. I know I’ve been pouting about not seeing babies/chicks lately, but these babies aren’t the ones I’ve been looking for. I suppose their mother thinks they are cute.
People said their were three little ones, I only saw two.
Here she is from an overlook on the other side of the water. A couple were there looking down into the water, so I pointed her out across the way. “Oh”, they said. “That’s where she moved to. She must have had 65 babies right underneath the overlook the other day.” They were disappointed to hear that there were only three of them.
Mirror, mirror on the wall…
You might choose to peek through this pretty opening into the wedding garden. We had seen chairs being put into place earlier. But we arrived just in time to see the ring bearer run back to where he came from, and then get picked up by the man who eventually walked the bride down the aisle and deposited into his seat. I wasn’t ready to capture that moment.
I was ready for this one though. The first flower girl dutifully throwing flower petals, and the little one racing up behind her wailing away.
Then came the bride, who wore a smile almost as big as her dress, which drew oohs and ahhs from our little group of wedding crashers in the doorway. She was followed closely by the photographer who was being paid to take pictures. I think the kids had calmed down by this time.
And she joins her groom. If you are wondering about the pattern on her escort’s jacket you are not alone. I can’t figure it out.

Maybe my title of Much Ados in the Gardens should have read much ‘I dos.’ As things do tend to happen, you just never know exactly what you’ll get when you head out to go shooting. So just keep heading out the door, and be sure to take your camera.