Friday, July 4, 2014

Friday Finds & Randomness


I found something really exciting this week. Well, I didn't really find them, but I found out about them.  My favorite park in the whole of central Arkansas is Wildwood Park for The Arts. Their website defines the park's vision "to provide opportunities for lifelong learning, engage the imagination and celebrate the human spirit through encounters with nature and a full spectrum of the arts: visual, performing, literary, horticultural, culinary and more."  The horticultural vision is what draws me. Wildwood contains Central Arkansas’ largest botanical gardens.  That's where I was and that's a little bit about it, now, I'll share what I found.  For the longest time only one swan has made the park its home and Buster is her name. After they named Buster, they found that Buster is actually a "she" so they're working on a new name for her.  Anyway, I was thrilled when I walked up to the lake and saw two more swans. One of the park workers said they had arrived this past weekend. They've named them Elizabeth and Alexander, quite proper names for such elegant creatures. I really hope they come up with an elegant name for Buster!  I also really hope these swans stay around. They seem to be a couple and since July is their mating month...maybe there'll be little ones the next time I visit the park.

Linking with Kim's Friday Finds.
Kim Klassen dot Com

Have you ever seen a Bottle Brush Buckeye shrub? Me neither!  Don't they have the prettiest most unusual flowers! Those flowers are called panicles. I had to look that word up. It means "any loose, diversely branching flower cluster." The shrub has white panicles in summer and yellow panicles in fall. Each panicle is about 4 inches wide and a foot long.  I guess I'll be making another trip to the garden to see the fall panicles. (I just like throwing that word in!)

This guy was just too busy satisfying his sweet tooth to notice me and my camera.  I loved these unusual flowers. Anyone know what they are?

Another pretty flower from Wildwood gardens. This is Sweet Azalea. Sweet?  Oh, yes!  Have you ever smelled honeysuckle?  This azalea smells just like that and it even resembles honeysuckle blooms!  Amazing smell!
Enough from Wildwood Garden today; on to other randomness. This is my new favorite salad; baby spinach leaves, walnuts, and Craisins drizzled with Raspberry Hazelnut Vinaigrette Dressing. I also like to use Blueberry Craisins and almonds for a different flavor.  Pretty yummy!
And lastly, let's talk about the weather. This is July...this is Arkansas...this is the south and yet, this has been the best summer in a long time. As you probably know I DON'T LIKE SUMMER! My mom always told me not to use the word "hate" but I can't help it!  I HATE SUMMER! Summer heat makes me sick, literally! But, this summer the weather has been wonderful.  Take today for the 70' humidity...breeze kind of summer! A great time to rest in the hammock and flip through some good magazines!

 As a bonus, since it is The Fourth of July,
I'm including one more image
and wishing you all a happy 4th!


  1. Low humidity that is perfect here in my part of the UK we have humidity but probably not anything like you have. Have a wonderful 4th...

  2. I LOVE that magazine in the hammock! Happy 4th of July!

  3. Oh how lucky you are to have found that beautiful Park and those swans!! I have to take a guess that that flower is of all things "bee balm"!! :) and we had one hot humid day (yesterday) and I was wilting... actually laying around on the sofa wit fans blowing on me ;)

  4. Well, today I learnt about panicles and craisins! Yes, I have seen something called Bottle Brush bushes before and they were mauve and most astonishing. I saw them in a garden in England and asked the owner their name! As for craisins, they look like cranberries! That salad looks good and your hammock looks inviting and I would love to smell the Sweet Azalee!
    So glad your cooler, not humid days are the perfect temperatures for you! We're going through heavy and humid and stormy here! Enjoy your days!

  5. The plant in #2 looks like Monarda or bee balm is the common name. I use to have some in my garden that color. Quite wonderful to photograph.

  6. The swans are so beautiful! I hope they stay and make it their home, maybe there will be babies next time. Yes, Bee Balm is the bright pink plant. Your salad fixings are some of my favorites too, right down to the dressing! Strawberries are also very tasty with fresh spinach. I'm happy your weather is less humid, and a bit milder. It would be nice to have a full month like that, wouldn't it? Enjoy your hammock Cathy! It looks so inviting!

  7. Buster definitely deserves a more regal name :) Hope you had a wonderful 4th!

  8. I agree, your mystery flower is the very appropriately named Bee Balm. That's a beautifully focused shot of the bee enjoying a frolic in it. I think your southern summer weather decided to come north for a change this year. We had four days last week with both temperatures and humidity in the 90s...while I was moving. I felt like the Wicked Witch of the West, "I'm melllllttingggggggg......." The last two days have felt much better! I glad you're having such a nice summer. Enjoy!

  9. Your photos of the swans were great. The reflection in the water was so clear. Which side is up could be a problem. I love all your photos but the salad. I am hunger and it looks so fresh and appetizing. Couldn't tell if you had made it or you were eating out. Whichever. I want to try it. Glad we had the cool days during the 4th and it want be long and we will be looking at fall.

  10. I hope the park's swans stick around too. I remember reading somewhere that swans mate for life--let's hope they also found their forever home. As for the rest of your photos, I especially like sweet azalea--such amazing detail!


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