Saturday, June 27, 2020

The Botanical Gardens

I will be taking a blogging break.
I am feeling a little uninspired these days, understandably so.

I am thankful those I know and love are safe and healthy.
It is wonderful to visit the Riverbanks Botanical Gardens again.
We intend to stroll here every Sunday morning throughout the summer.
However I think there may  be another much needed shut down in our area. 
This is a happy place for Jim and I.
  
Oh the pretty pink!
 
 
The huge bamboo teepees should be covered in vines by the end of fall which will be a treat to see.
Seeing so much color along with the variety of flowers and plants is always a mood lifter. We seem to discover something new with each visit.

I hope you are hanging in there ok too. My escapism has been music, books and movies. Movie apps and the ease of downloading books are also things I am very thankful for these days.

Thank you for stopping by! ~Val

Saturday, June 20, 2020

An Actual Outing!

Jim and I had our first outing since the outbreak! The Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Gardens are open for reservations. This is phase 1 of re-opening.
 
Now we must be aware of standing 6 flamingos from each other.

The animals have no idea what humans are dealing with right now.
Certain beasts probably enjoy people watching again.
High touch zones are well labeled with "caution".
Bronze statues throughout are blocked off since these are also high touch items used for photo ops.
We always have to stop by the meerkats since they are smile inducing creatures.
These two were deep in conversation of the intellectual sort.
White rhinos are still due to arrive in the fall, as scheduled. The habitat is coming along.
Frogs were enjoying themselves this day too. This big guy looks like an ornament but was real.
It felt good to simply be out again. With the limited capacity it was a quiet, peaceful day at the zoo.

I hope you are able to find things to enjoy too. This is one place where we feel safe since it is easy to keep distance from others. It may be months before we feel comfortable enough to eat in a restaurant again since case numbers are still on the rise here.

Thank you for stopping by! ~Val

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Lights

Certain lights catch my eye. Here are some seen out and about.
This dragon is my favorite located at the entrance of Mellow Mushroom in Ashland, NC.
Here is a gaslight in charming Old Point in Beaufort, SC.
The city of Columbia, SC has many beauties.

The neighborhood of Cottontown has some lovely ones. 
A neighborhood full of character!


The state house has these gorgeous ones that make me think of a gigantic, antique candelabra. 



I must have take this one in Florida considering the tropical foliage. This folder has been hanging out on my computer for many months so it is difficult to remember where they were all taken.




I hope you enjoyed this collection!

Thank you for stopping by! ~Val

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Yard Update

The yard is changing every day.
The different varieties are lilies are showing themselves.
The lantana is doing its job attracting butterflies.
A darling new ice plant has been added with such pretty color.
An elephant ear has also been added as well.
This variety's leaves start as green with purple veining.
Then they turn almost black with a gorgeous silvery underside. This plant may be as tall as me by October so it will be fun to watch grow!
This is the first time we spotted a skink on our property! These guys are great for the garden by consuming the naughty insects.
The gardenia has been blooming like crazy.
The fragrance is incredible!
The butterfly bushes are blooming.

Our thornless raspberry vine is doing well. We thought the fruit would be bird safe wrapped  between our deck fence with no perches. However we caught Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal enjoying one on the deck. They managed to remove one in mid air! We have since added netting.
The chrysanthemums are blooming beautifully.
We are patiently awaiting rose of sharon blooms throughout the yard! This one is my favorite since the plant itself is marvelous.
We have a bunch of holly hedges in front. I am surprised there are still red berries at this time of the year. I always thought of these as cooler weather plants but I was wrong.
We have sweet coral bells too.
The most exciting thing going on is the start of our first figs! Fresh figs are very hard to find since it is a delicate fruit that needs to be picked only when ripe and consumed quickly. In the future when we have big harvests, we can dry or freeze them. I really want to bake fig bars!
Another favorite plant of mine is the kaleidoscope. It is an evergreen with constantly changing leaves.
Here is a macro look at the butterfly garden at the moment.
Always remember to take time out so soothing nature can be enjoyed.

Thank you for stopping by! ~Val