bugs, butterflies, flowers, fun, gardens, nature, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, second chances

Buzzing by the gardens…

Yesterday I did what I used to do when I lived in Spring Hill, I dropped by the botanical garden rather than drive past it. I doubted that butterflies would be in abundance in this cooler weather, and I was right. But right there in the butterfly garden I found something I haven’t seen in ages, a big fat bumble bee. And the afternoon light was nice. What a treat.

I was amazed at how solid his wings look in this photo.
He was ignoring me completely as he flitted from flower to flower.
I wish I could claim to have set up this shot, but it was just lucky.
He was still busy when I left.

I love it when a spur of the moment inspiration turns out so well. Life is simple these days, all it takes is seeing a tiny little creature to make my day. Life is good.

attention to detail, attitude adjustments, flowers, gardens, go with the flow, growing old, home, perseverance, photography, rain, storms, weather

In the breeze…

Because even though the ‘breeze’ is whipping the rain against the house in sheets, and even though I was listening to it in the dark this morning, it just doesn’t sound like a tropical storm in this area. I hope it’s no worse in the areas that haven’t yet recovered from Hurricane Ian.

I’m told that there was a small opening in the corner of the fence when they moved into this house. And they had dogs, so they planted the bougainvillea in the feature photo to help keep the dogs in. And now it’s the bougainvillea that is threatening to eat Wesley Chapel. I used to prune the small one I had in Spring Hill and my arms would take a beating from the nasty thorns this plant is known for. I had my cat at the vet once and he looked at my scratched up arms and asked, with a horrified look on his face, if the cat had done that. It is a pretty sight, but it would be prettier if it attracted bees and butterflies. And right now it’s waving those deadly fronds like crazy.

I was leaving Sam’s Club the other day and noticed this Rain Tree as I waited to make my turn. I once drove around Spring Hill looking for these trees, always so shapely, for a blog post. My fall foliage, Florida style.
And a rose from the garden of the local library where I went to pick up a few books since I wouldn’t be out in the rain taking pictures for another day or so. Nice library with an unexpected Florida friendly garden.

I have books, actual physical books, to read while I listen to the wind and rain today. I say that I prefer a real book, I’d rather turn the pages, which I’ve been known to try to do when I’m reading on my iPad. But my vision hasn’t been tested since my cataract surgery, and my cheaters don’t seem to be doing the trick as well as I’d like. I’ll probably pull the lamp a little closer also. The joys of aging…

'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.