Week 12: Seasonal

So I’m pulling another theme from my alternate list this week, because, ya know, I wanna ūüôā ¬†You know I love the chance to talk about all things spring and summer, and since the alternate list has this week’s theme as “seasonal”, I’m all about it!

Going to Florida always gets me a little out of whack weather wise, but I’m happy to report that things have warmed up around here. ¬†We may be looking at a cold front for the rest of the month, allegedly, but I’ll take a cooler spring over two feet of snow any day. ¬†Even with the chillier than normal temperatures, it’s been warm enough for the world to blossom, and I’ve been happy to enjoy it and capture some springy moments.

First, let me start with a little ode to the cherry blossoms…

They’re always some of my favorites. ¬†I wish they would last a little longer, but with the first windy day, they’re gone. ¬†I’m happy to have had a sunny day off where I got to wander around a little and snap some photos. ¬†It was actually one of those windy days while I was photographing these, so it was a little difficult to capture a clear image. ¬†Luckily, I did, and I was also lucky enough to snap a few of the baby bumble bees which were fluttering around the blossoms and fighting the wind. ¬†Poor little things — they would be there one second, happily bouncing from flower to flower, and then woosh! ¬†A huge gust of wind would come, and they’d be gone. ¬†They’re tough though — they made it back ūüôā

As for some of the other flavors of spring, you always get the same first visitors; daffodils, hyacinths, and the cute little “weed” flowers, you know, from the weeds that grow in the grass….not that…I’m not talking about¬†that! ¬†But while I was on vacation a couple weeks ago, and at the Bok Tower Gardens, I took advantage of the garden part of that visit, and took pictures of the gorgeous things they had in bloom there. It was really a fun place to see, and you should check it out if you’re in the area. ¬†According to their website, something is always in bloom, and I wouldn’t doubt it; the weather there is perfect for year-round blooms. ¬†While I was there, I’m pretty sure I was fortunate¬†enough to make it during one of their peak bloom season, and among other things, was able to enjoy their Japanese Magnolias, Camellias, and Nun’s Orchids. ¬†It was a beautiful walk, and smelled amazing! ¬†Even as we were a few minutes away and driving up to the gardens, you could smells the flowers. ¬†So while I’m dreaming of warmer weather on this chilly spring night, enjoy these photos of the little promises that warmer weather is right around the corner!

 

Week 11: Landscape Reflection

I’ve been excited to post this one! ¬†Reflections are always a fun thing to work with, and this time, I found the perfect place to photograph.

The last few times that I’ve gone to Florida, I’ve been searching for interesting little day trips to take. ¬†I like where I go to visit, but I know there’s so much to see in Florida that is not Disney, and I want to soak all of that in, or as much as I can, anyways. ¬†One place that I had been eyeing up was Bok Tower Gardens. ¬†From what I could tell from¬†quickly browsing their website a million times, they have an awesome garden and tower, with a perfect reflecting pool for this theme. ¬†So I decided to read a little more in to it during my most recent trip, and I finally decided to go check it out.

It really was a beautiful garden, and a deceptively quick walk to the tower. ¬†The weather was beautiful, and I was up for a long walk, but appreciated the extra time I had to browse around the gardens since it didn’t take forever to get to the tower. ¬†So many things were in full bloom, so I was able to get plenty of great flower pictures, which you know I love. ¬†The tower, I’m happy to report, did not disappoint. ¬†It was much taller than I expected, and a beautiful pink coral color, with tons of intricate details.

We encountered a sweet older woman while we were there who gave us a great little history of the tower. ¬†The builder, Edward Bok, immigrated from the Netherlands when he was a child. ¬†His goal was to achieve the “American Dream”, as she put it, and with hard work, he did just that. ¬†He became an incredibly successful publisher and author, and in retirement, moved to Florida. ¬†The tower and gardens were a sort of passion project for him, and in it’s completion, he gave it to the American people as a gift. ¬†How endearing, as was our sweet story teller. ¬†He refused to disclose how much he spent on the tower and gardens because he wanted to keep the notion of it being a gift in tact. ¬†I love hearing stories like this, of people overcoming the odds to achieve the “American Dream”; it always makes me think of my grandparents.

It was great hearing the story from her, and I kept that in mind as we were walking the gardens and admiring the tower. ¬†It’s really quite impressive when you think of it. ¬†It was all completed in the 1920’s. ¬†Imagine how incredibly difficult it must have been to create something like this. ¬†Within the singing tower, there is a large carillon, like an organ/bell tower, as she explained. ¬†The bells had to be brought over from England via boat, with the largest weighing about 12 tons. ¬†I really can’t even fathom how they moved it!

I’m glad that I decided to finally check this place out. ¬†If you’re ever in the central Florida area, I suggest you do the same. ¬†It will be a nice afternoon, and don’t worry, the gardens provide plenty of shade from the hot Florida sun. ¬†Enjoy!