Friday, March 24, 2017

Everything's coming up...well, heck if I know--but it's all delightful, nonetheless!

So, we had this weird February, where Spring--almost Summer, really--showed up, partied with us for a while, got our hopes up with balmy breezes and toasty rays of sunshine...and then abruptly vamoosed, leaving her much grumpier, less-friendly"Late Winter" to torment us with the unwelcome return of chillier days, and downright freezing nights/early mornings. Well, to all that, I just have one thing to say: bah, humbug! Because you see, one of the effects of our premature seasonal shift was that the trees and flowers around here switched out the drab gray and brown tones they'd been wearing for the past few months, and donned much more pleasing, brightly colored apparel in all the glorious shades of the rainbow.

Needless to say, it was sooooo pretty! That is, right up until the nasty frost gremlins--who were sticking around into March, refusing to politely leave, somewhat like guests who've overstayed their welcome--withered all but the heartiest blossoms, and momentarily hit the pause button on our festive displays of Spring...ness. But this has always been my favorite part of the year (my birthday, baseball, the end of the dark, cold times--seriously, what's not to love?) and all of a sudden, my patience ran out (What? That's SUCH a surprise! Said no one who's met me...ever...) and I needed to commune with some, NOW.

And by this I of course don't mean "plant and tend some green things"--hahahahaha!No, this is admittedly not my forte...or desire, frankly. I just like to stroll amongst them with my camera, breathing in the sweet scents, admiring the dazzling hues, and capturing all the natural beauty on film...and whatnot. I made a valiant attempt to do so last week, giving the NC Botanical Garden a shot...but after approximately, oh, 5 minutes I realized that--aside from the foliage that survives year-round, there was nothing growing yet. Well...rats!

But...another week has passed, with the weather seemingly on the upswing, back towards actual Spring, rather than that sneaky impostor we had a while back, so I decided to carve out space in my day otherwise occupied by the "return-a-few-items-oh-and-while-you're-here-might-as-well-pick-up-a-couple-of-thing-also" Costco excursion, and the inevitable "shoot-we-need-stuff-from-Target-too" run for my first excursion of the year to Duke Gardens. (Which, incidentally, might be the ONLY acceptable reason to set foot on that campus, as a resident of Chapel Hill. Just sayin'...)

As usual, it did not disappoint. I have no earthly idea (Ha! Sorry...) what the...landscaping wizards... who're in charge of the flora-bonanza over there do to make it so gorgeous All. The. Time...but whatever it is, it's certainly all kinds of magical. I'll just come right out and confess that I don't even know what any of the plants ARE--with the exception of tulips and daffodils, the easiest-to-identify in the huge variety of gorgeous specimens. But it doesn't matter, because I (along with hordes of other like-minded nature-seekers) can wander up and down the paths...for free (aside from a nominal parking charge)...for as long as we want (presumably until they kick us out at dusk).

Eventually my growling stomach reminded me that the next stop on my Solo Field Trip had better be of the lunch-variety...which is actually a GOOD thing, since it put a halt to me meandering around for the entire afternoon, taking pictures of each and every blooming thing. (Ha! Not sorry this time--my excuse is that I was feeling momentarily British...inexplicably....) I mean, after a while, you have to say "yeah, yeah, everything's stunning, but
 enough is enough" and move on, am I right? After all, I'm well aware that the gardens are always there, usually open, and absolutely guaranteed to be spectacular, whatever season you choose to visit. So for now, it's goodbye tulips, daffodils, and...other stuff...I'll be back in a few months to discover what new delights await in the Summer heat. For now, Mission Flower Watch goes in the books--or photo albums--as a success!

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