Walk in the Park

You are cordially invited today to walk with me on my almost weekly trip to the Naples Botanical Gardens. Because I go so frequently it is my place to experiment and practice. I don’t have to worry about getting that perfect shot because I know if I get home and don’t like what I captured, I can try again tomorrow or next week. On the other hand, plants change so quickly here in subtropical Florida that there is always something new to see all over again for the very first time. I am almost always surprised by something.

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On this Tuesday morning I decided to equip my camera with my 50mm lens. As I am aging and because fibromyalgia causes fatigue, I find that I am happier when my camera is lighter. I also decided to take my tripod, something I don’t usually do because of the added weight – kind of a balancing act (sorry). I had great fun and am pleased with what I brought home.

I headed for the wetland area to see if I could get some good landscapes (and to get some additional exercise on the trails) but was pulled into the succulent garden. These plants didn’t impress me much when I first started visiting but now I think I am in love. Besides, when I got them loaded in my computer I was pleased with the clarity. I really do need that tripod!

With a big smile on my face and a gentle peace filling my soul, I headed to the wetlands – but the roses were prettier than I have ever seen them so I had to duck into the Florida Garden.

There are always dedicated volunteers weeding in all the areas, so this photo is for all the wonderful people who make the garden look like it naturally grows without weeds. I’m trying to get volunteers to help me with my northern garden, but without success. Maybe if I named my yard the Bailey Botanical Garden? Nice ring, don’t you think.

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I was intrigued with the texture of this plant and discovered it is white rhubarb. Edible plants are grown in different places in the gardens and used by the cafe. I wonder if this will end up as a rhubarb muffin?

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By this time I decided the sun was too high and too hot for my originally intended walk so I took a right across one of the bridges spanning the sea of grass and found this beauty growing as a volunteer in the wild plants and grass right up close to the boardwalk,

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then spent a few minutes watching an artist work on a painting. I have always had a desire to take up painting but on this day realized the process is just plain too slow for me. I have found my speed in the click of a camera shutter.

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I was almost lulled into a rest,

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but the pull of the water lilies was stronger. By this time the sun was harsh so I wasn’t pleased with most of my captures. But this image was cropped drastically from a broader pondscape demonstrating the power of the 50mm lens.Β I purchased this lens after reading a critique that the increased sharpness of this dedicated lens makes it possible to crop so a telephoto lens isn’t always necessary.

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There were a few shaded areas where I was able to explore texture, color, reflection, and light. I keep lingering on this one, even though I’m not convinced it is that good. Time will tell or maybe I’ll do some different cropping or try again next week. This is the type of art I enjoy working with.

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I couldn’t leave without a walk through the orchid garden where there is always a new challenge to capture. I was drawn to the different textures of wood, orchid, fern and water but will try next time to better capture why this scene touched my soul. I was getting tired, and when this happens I quickly click without enough thought. Next time I’ll start here.

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Nothing rejuvenates a tired body and mind like a little refreshment. Today it was a scone (my usual choice) and a ginger limeade while I sat beside a pond, pondering life.

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You have been such a great traveling companion that I’ll share my drink (but not the scone, sorry) and invite you along next time.

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26 Comments »

    • I have been following your packing. We moved 8 years ago (although just a little over a mile down the road) but we had lived in our house for about 35 years. We asked repeatedly, “Is this worth packing and unpacking?” How good it felt to be in an uncluttered house. But you miss being able to walk for a scone when you leave Chicago.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What beautiful, colorful, light-filled images. Don’t you love that 50mm lens? It’s been my lens of choice lately. Thank you for this lovely walk and for sharing your drink!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was lovely, Pat, even though you were mean with the scone! πŸ™‚ I wonder- could I feature it on my Monday walks? I usually wait till people approach me but sometimes I see something I really like and ‘pop the question’. πŸ™‚

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  3. You took us on a lovely walk. I have the “cheap” version of the nifty fifty and really like I. I just forget to use it – but your post reminds me that I need to pull it out again

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