Thursday, March 24, 2016

Adventure at Wildwood Park

I needed peace.
I needed quiet.
I needed to be by myself.

So, I headed to my favorite place where I knew I could be alone. It's a beautiful park that for some reason very few people use and that's all right with me. It's like my own secret garden. The day I was there I saw two ladies walking their dogs, a mother pushing her baby in a stroller, and one gentleman using the trails for exercise.

I always head along the lake to the gazebo where I can sit quietly. There's a little story about the gazebo. Mrs. Gertrude Remmel Butler wanted a gazebo near the edge of Swan Lake. She recruited the help of a well known landscape gardener to design and build the structure. When she saw the completed work for the first time, she was heard to say "This doesn't look like a gazebo. It looks like a boat dock!"  And it does.  There are steps on two sides that lead right down to the water. I like to sit on the steps and imagine Victorian ladies all dressed in beautiful spring dresses, floppy hats, and matching parasols stepping from the gazebo into a rowboat with a handsomely dressed gentleman.

Sometimes I bring my lunch, sometimes a book, and always my camera. This day I sat on the steps of the gazebo and read. I was pretty absorbed in the book when I heard this "whooshing" noise. I looked up and from the other side of the lake I saw Alexander, one of the resident swans, swimming toward me at full speed. His feathers curved over his back and his neck curled back. I know swans can be aggressive, so I'm always careful around them, but honestly I was only sitting near the water reading. I don't know why he thought I was a threat, but he did. Totally clueless of his defensive form, I just sat there watching him quickly close the distance between us and snapping pictures.

When I finally realized he was coming after me he was right in front of me flapping his gigantic wings. You will never believe how fast I can scoot up steps backwards! I quickly looked around for higher ground, but thankfully he didn't try to join me in the gazebo! The picture below was snapped as I scooted up the steps. He was definitely not happy with me. Look at those waves! He was moving fast!

He swam back and forth along the gazebo edge like he was guarding his lake. Alexander is beautiful, but he's just a little overprotective! You can see the steps in the picture below. The bottom step, which is now wet, is where my feet were.

After I realized he had no intentions of joining me in the gazebo I took advantage of his closeness and took a lot of pictures.  I was even able to capture him in my crystal ball.

Finally, he became bored and swam away. While I enjoyed taking pictures and seeing him so close, I felt trapped in the gazebo. I wasn't about to leave my safe spot.

Before he left, we had quite the conversation. I tried to explain that I knew he loved his lady, Bella, and wanted to protect her, but that I was in no way a threat to them. I don't think it worked. He just kept giving me the evil eye! 

He swam slowly back across the lake to Bella. I think he might have been wanting her to acknowledge that he was her hero!

Ah, young spring love!

"In springtime, love is carried on the breeze.
Watch out for flying passion
(overprotective swans)
and kisses whizzing by your head."
~ Emma Racine Defleur

(Words in parenthesis are mine!)

If you'd like to read more about why I was at the lake and see some different pictures, drop by the Focusing On Life blog where I'm posting today.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Spring Garden

You see the flowers before you even enter the garden.

The sound of water greets you near the welcome center.

As you leave the visitor center and enter the garden
you pause, you breath, and you relax.

Some of the earliest spring flowers to bloom are the daffodils
which celebrate the end of winter with their bright yellow trumpets.

In addition to the daffodils
there are crocuses, hyacinths, and wildflowers.

A nice breeze blowing off the nearby lake stirred the flowers,
filling  the air with sweet scents.
Have you every stood near a field of hyacinths?
The smell is amazing!

The flowers weren't the only gorgeous thing in the garden. 

Now, to the reason I went to this beautiful botanical garden
"the tulip extravaganza."
Thousands of breathtaking tulips line the pathways
and are scattered on the hillsides;
every color, size, and variety you can imagine.

I took hundreds of pictures of the tulips. I couldn't share them all here, but if you'd like to see a few more I'm posting today at Focusing On Life. I'd love to have you drop over and see them.

If you're ever in Arkansas you must visit the beautiful Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs. Every season is spectacular.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Spring Beauties

Valley Rose

Yesterday I needed to run by the big home center to buy some concrete blocks for a project Mr. H and I are working on. Of course, those blocks just happen to be in the outdoor section where all the spring flowers are beginning to arrive. After giving myself a pat on the back for sticking my little point and shoot camera in my pocket, I parked my cart of blocks, and began strolling up and down all the aisles.

 Cleveland Select Flowering Pear

I don't need to add a lot of words here. The pictures speak for themselves and they're saying spring is just around the corner. So just sit back and enjoy some spring beauties.



Doronicum Little Leo

 Lenten Rose

And lastly, the beautiful and fascinating centers of Anemones.

Springtime is the land awakening.
The March winds are the morning yawn.
~ Lewis Grizzard