At the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens that is. I may never have gone there on a Saturday before. I say this because it just seemed to be bustling with activity, which isn’t usually the case. They were getting ready for a wedding, decorating the gazebo, and chairs were set up ready for guests. It looked to be my kind of affair, small and simple. I’ll bet it was nice.
It was early and the sun was strong and made for deep shadows. The butterflies in the butterfly garden were scarce, and too busy to sit for photographs. But the female cardinal was too busy eating berries to worry about me and my camera.
But what tickled me most was that the train was zooming around the track. That was a first. I’d seen that the track was there of course, but hadn’t seen it in operation. The gentleman running it says it runs every Saturday from 9 AM to noon. The track circles a display that includes two little waterfalls, and I happily tried to get pictures but the strong sun and shadows got in the way. So I used my new iPhone to take shots of the train in burst mode, and it shot a movie instead. Clearly I need to study up on how to take best advantage of the features of the phone. And the site wouldn’t let me post the little video. But I got one shot of the train at least.
This water feature was new to me also.And, what we have most of here in Florida, lizards!
What a novelty it was to be chauffeur driven to THE sight to see if you see nothing else in Portland. Great company, nice lunch, and now I’ve seen it, and taken pictures too! The Portland Head Light. And more! What a nice day, even if the sky was darkening as the day progressed. Thank you Joan and Jude!
The Portland Head Light was so impressive that I began taking pictures from the parking lot!
Also guarding the harbor we have the Portland Breakwater Light, affectionately called Bug Light. Bug light is segmented, which means that if you are in the correct shipping channel you will see a white light, but if you are seeing a red light then you are in danger of going aground.
And we also have Bug Light’s twin sister, the Spring Point Ledge Light…
And off in the distance in these shots you see Ram’s Head Ledge Light. You may also have noticed why I love the 18 to 400mm lens. Both of these shots were taken with that lens, hand held. And with an extra challenge because I figured out later on that I had the lens stabilization turned off. I was stuggling, now I know why. Duh.
Portland. I’ll be back…
Oh, did I forget bugs? There is an exquisite Children’s garden too!
You know I can never resist a flower picture with a bug in it. Especially bugs that look like a little kid’s toy they’d pull behind them as they learned to walk. I wonder if they have toys like that anymore? No batteries, just kid power. Those photos make flower pictures without a bug just look boring in comparison. These photos are also from the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden. Such a lovely place to visit, and just a short drive from this campground. I’m beginning to wonder if a week will be enough time to see everything I’d like to see while I’m here. And there I was, contemplating heading back home just a couple of days ago. I usually do keep my promises, but I don’t always keep the promises I make to myself. It’s about time I did…
I’m told that the green smiley-faced caterpillar has fake eyes on his back to make his enemies think there is a big, bad, bug looking at them. I just think he’s cute!
Canterbury Shaker Village was the destination yesterday. I was so distracted by the dramatic sky that I didn’t spend a lot of time wishing for a prettier day. Well, when it was raining on us and we were taking shelter under a crab apple tree I may have wished for a better day. But the porcupine in the tree was kind of fun, but he just plain wouldn’t say cheese so I don’t have his picture. And we munched on huckleberries that were growing on the apple tree like a trellis, so it wasn’t all bad. A sprinkle here and there was as bad as it got.
We took the guided tour of the village and that was well worth it. The volunteer guide was terrific, and it was quite amazing to hear of the accomplishments and work ethic of the Shakers. I was lamenting that I had been so distracted by the dramatic sky, which doesn’t always translate into great pictures, that I didn’t think I had taken any interior pictures. Thankfully there were a few.
The rest of these are just the grounds of the village. The members lived in dormitories. They were issued 120 garments each upon their arrival in the village. These were their only possessions. Their laundry facility was amazing. The Shakers invented the first washing machines and sold them to hotels and hospitals around the world. The garments were washed, dried, folded, and returned to the proper person by a system of baskets. They were delivered by the children of the village, to the proper building, identified by letter, room number, closet or drawer number, and the initials of the owner. Very efficient.
And if you are paying attention you may be wondering how a religious community that practiced celibacy managed to have children on the premises. Shakers took in orphans and educated them as well as trained them in trades. They were not automatically considered Shakers, because the belief was that you couldn’t make a decision as important as that one until the age of reason, age 17 – 21. The more I learned about this group the more I admired their practices. Each person worked at a job to benefit the whole, in 30 day shifts, and everyone rotated through every job required. In that way no one was stuck in the less pleasant jobs and these rules applied to everyone, including the elders of the village. The guide didn’t elaborate on the perceived benefits of celibacy, we’ll all have to ponder that one…
Yes, it’s in the middle of nowhere, also known as Mason, NH. The GPS had us winding our way through the woods until you had to wonder if this could possibly be right. And then there it was, Pickity Place. Several little weathered red buildings set in lovely gardens. Herb gardens, flower gardens, and vegetable gardens. The vegetables weren’t the only edibles to make it onto our lunch plates either, every one of the courses that made up our 5 course lunch was garnished with edible flowers. I confess that they were prettier than they were tasty. The flowers I mean, the food was delicious.
You can’t just drop in on this place, reservations for the seatings are required in advance. While you are waiting for the bell to signal that it’s time to be seated you can wander in the gardens, or shop in the gift shops. Or if you haven’t done it on line already you might peruse the menu for the day and choose which of the two entrees might tickle your fancy. The menu changes monthly, and I thought September’s offerings looked tempting also. What a nice way to spend the day with my oldest and dearest friend, and to make two new friends also…
There is the beach at Highland Lake, with a lily pad pond and dragonflies. Then there is the other end of the lake where I took an especially nice sunset picture over the winter. There was beautiful color in the sky and the Aiderondack chairs just set the stage. Now there is beautiful color in the flowers, but they pretty much hide the Aiderondack chairs completely. The sky was clouding over. A severe weather alert posted when I got home, and the weather showed up right on time. Scared the dog half to death so we snuggled up to watch TV. The storm is over but the dog is still snuggled up.