Still more photos from an oddly not sad day, but it easily could have been. I’m approaching the five year mark of widowhood and almost nothing about my life is the same these days. I have turned my life totally upside-down. Not something I planned to do, just a need that overtook me as I took the days one at a time. Life is good.
Down the most innocuous looking one lane dirt road, looking as if you’ve gotten onto a service road rather than the road into a garden destination, you will find Innisfree Gardens. If not for the 15 mph signs every so often I’d have tried to find a spot to turn around. I thought to myself that the senior price was only $5 and I shouldn’t have expected much. But then you are finally in the parking area with lots of other people. Some are pulling coolers out of their cars, clearly planning to spend some time rather than just take some pictures. This sign greets you, and explains the place better than I ever could.
And yes, you roam the paths and on the grass, and at every turn there are lovely little scenes.
And of course where there are flowers there are bees, and butterflies…
But this dragonfly provided the most fun moment. I had been keeping pace with a family of several generations as they enjoyed the park. One of their group was wearing a red ball cap and a dragonfly decided to perch on it, much to the delight of her family. I had missed the moment but I told them that dragonflies always come back to the same spot, and I was going to add that I didn’t think that that would apply to the cap, except there he was again. Both he and she were quite cooperative and I appreciated the chance to capture that moment. I hope they have stuck with the blog for a couple of days because I told them I’d use the photo, but it has taken me since Saturday to do it.
The little woodpecker in the featured photo was quite a surprise. I wasn’t fast enough to catch the exchange as one adult flew into the nest and the other flew out. But I zoomed as much as I could and took a picture of the tree just in case, and I planned to explain that I could hear the babies in there chirping for food. Because I did, but what I couldn’t see until I looked at the photos in the computer was that someone was keeping a watchful eye on things. It was a small price to pay for such a lovely day.
I’m not in Kansas anymore. Florida either. Lots of you, probably the majority of you, may look out your windows to a view like this. But not me, not in Florida or Maryland either. And I do spend a lot of time enjoying the beauty around me in Florida, but this scenery is just amazing to me. A simple drive to run an errand and I’m looking at lovely vistas all around me. It was an absolutely beautiful day yesterday. Just seeing the sun was a treat after the rain that’s been following me around. Starting the day talking with a friend over coffee, and then winding down the day with cribbage on the porch, plus a glass of wine, is very special. As is this friendship, which began so long ago that it’s just always been there. Long ago we talked of the future and anticipated the life that was waiting for us. And now here we are, our stories have been written. We’ve turned the page and are now facing challenges that we never thought of when we were young, but we are facing them together…
We all get reminders of our memories on Facebook, posts that we made on that same date over the years. Since I’ve been blogging for nearly two years now I mostly get memories that are blog posts from last year, Today’s was a trip to the Lowry Park Zoo, and the pictures I got that day were such favorites of mine that I got some warm fuzzies to see them today. It’s been a couple of days of warm fuzzies since I’ve been doing what I can to help my son move into a house just 14 miles from me! He is back ‘home’, so to speak, and I couldn’t possibly be happier. His family will be here once school is out. The timing could be better since I’m leaving next week for my first snowbird expedition to see places and people I know and love. And to see new places and find friends I haven’t met yet. So with nothing new to post I’m happy to share this from last year. And to be thankful that Mike has come home.
You probably have said it yourself, “How did my kids grow up so fast? Now it’s the grandchildren I say that about. I wonder if wood storks have any conception of time. They hatch the chicks and they grow up and leave home all in one season on the nest. Now that’s fast.
Haven’t I always claimed that photographers are a remarkably helpful and friendly group? In general I mean. Yesterday I made a stop at the rookery since I was shopping at that shopping center anyhow, and when I went to take my step stool out of the car it wast was, sob, missing! I had taken it inside and dragged it all over the house in my curtain hanging frenzy. Even though I still have a couple of windows to go I put the step stool back in the car as soon as I got home, because I was determined to head over there today. I did take pictures yesterday, and they weren’t all that bad considering that I was shooting through the openings in the chain link fence. But they weren’t what I wanted. When I arrived at the rookery this morning there were photographers already there. Short people like me! So I offered to let them shoot from the ladder before I got up there, and they were amazed at how nice it is to shoot over the fence. Then someone said, “Oh look, the alligator is out!” Now I had seen the alligator there in a friend’s photo once, and in person once, but wasn’t able to get a photo. You can imagine me peering through the fence and asking where it was, and saying that I’ve always wanted to get a picture of it. So whoever it was who was on the ladder hurried down so I could get some shots, then he got back up again. I made some new Facebook friends today, and had such a nice time talking about photography and places to shoot. And I did get a couple of pictures too.
I call this one The Nanny, because those are Great White Egret chicks who appear to be being watched over by a wood stork. I could spin a heart warming tale about egret chicks having been abandoned and then adopted by this wood stork, but truth isn’t quite so dramatic. That wood stork is actually standing at his or her own nest directly behind the egret nest. I didn’t see any adult egrets come to that nest while I was there though. So maybe truth really is stranger than fiction…And the real wood stork chicks are growing fast. I have to wonder if there is a safety in numbers factor to why these birds choose to nest in colonies like this. It sure makes for nice photo ops.