This weekend was one of two firsts for me: my first orchids and my first cherry blossoms.
Having caught spring fever, two friends and I headed to St. Louis this weekend to visit (among other things) the Missouri Botanical Garden. The week before, Mobotgarden blew my Instagram feed up with pictures of the cherry blossoms in full and beautiful bloom. Keen to see the blossoms upon our arrival, we got momentarily waylaid by the orchids. Apparently the Garden representatives understood the seductive power of the orchid show all too well–they kept calling out cheerful reminders to take time and visit the cherry blossoms, which we heeded, finally, some hour plus later.
As we emerged blinking outside, we realized that we had perhaps dallied too long indoors and that the late afternoon sun was not likely to be kind to the blues, pinks, and whites that we wanted to capture. We hoofed it closer to the Japanese Garden, but these forget-me-nots and tulip beds grabbed my attention, bad light be damned, and I paused to see what I could get on film.Closer to the cherry trees in the Japanese Garden, we encountered pink and white crowned crabapple and apple trees. The light fought nearly every shot I tried to capture, but these few turned out well enough to post. I loved that the crabapples’ boughs formed a gorgeous archway for visitors to walk underneath. And the brilliant blue skies made for the perfect backdrop to these snowy white blossoms.
Our journey took us by the babbling stream and pond, which was home to some great mosses, ducks, and turtles. I’m not well-known for my ability to take great bird shots, but the intensity of the afternoon light finally paid off by helping me “freeze” the action of the duck as he swam about. (Also, I got my camera right down in the male duck’s face when he got closer to shore, and he nearly attacked me. His wife–with her gorgeous teal wing patch–remained happily in contemplative mode during the whole encounter, although her backward gaze was a little beady.)
We rounded one final bend and heard children talking excitedly about these turtles, all lined up in a row.
Ducks and turtles behind us, we finally reached the cherry blossoms. And the light softened just enough to get these misty photos of the gorgeous blooms.
Having meandered through the cherry blossoms, we headed up a little grassy knoll with pink frothed trees and some much-needed shade. A lo! we found these beautiful pink blooms that produced crisp, clear shots. Huzzah for shade!
Our stroll back inside took us past the koi pond, and I managed to catch these shots of the monstrously ugly (and surprisingly fast swimmers, given their size) fish.Also on the way back, we ran across the Rock Garden. According to the woman who I accidentally backed into while taking the shot of the grape hyacinths you see here, during the morning hours, there wasn’t enough light to capture the deep purples of these blooms. I was afraid that the harsh, late afternoon sunlight wasn’t going to be much kinder to these purples, but I was pleasantly surprised by the way these turned out.
The End. (Until we are able to go back in a few week’s time.)