Friday Flowers – in Pink

New Guinea Trumpet Vine

Jude’s month of pink is coming to a close today so I thought I would share some of the beautiful pinks from my last visit to the botanical garden before leaving Florida for Michigan. This New Guinea Trumpet Vine grows up the roof supports along the boardwalk into the garden. There is always something of interest along this walk so I usually need to stop for a few minutes to enjoy and see what I can capture with my camera.

But the next one is a favorite. Every time I’ve gone through this file I stop for a minute or two…

I was drawn to this waterlily because the sun’s rays was touching it just right as the sunlight was breaking through the bordering trees. On this particular morning I was following the gentle rays of the sun poking through here and there, not yet so bright it harshened up the shadows and washed out color. I did a little cropping and reduced highlights a touch – but all other post-processing didn’t have any value-added. As I cropped I noticed the hint of a reflection on the water at the bottom. That brings a smile to my heart.

Had to include some sweet memories – is that a touch of pink I see there? Do you think it will be enough pink to count on the very last day of April pinks? Jim and I split this scone and it was every bit as good as it looks. He took his half, the rest was mine. He was an engineer, so you would think he would be better at fractions, huh?

Colorful April at the Farmers’ Market

This coming week-end we will be doing our normal spring migration from southern Florida to southern Michigan, approximately 1,340 miles straight up Interstate-75, and I’ll have to do my bi-annual, mind-bending adjustment to change in climate and environment. Current place (Florida) includes April colors of sunflowers and garden produce as the local growing season is drawing to a close. Farmers’ Markets have been busy with both permanent and seasonal residents.

This final week in Florida means that I am using up foods in the frig as we balance our last at-home meals cooked with what-is-left ingredients and going out to favorite restaurants for mid-afternoon dining with friends. Friends and kids are asking why we aren’t staying a couple more weeks – given that Covid is out of control and snow is in the forecast for Michigan. Ummmm, I don’t know – except that the food is about gone in the frig and we have a pile of stuff in the living room ready to go into the car.

And we’re ready to go home. It doesn’t matter whether we are in Florida spring or Michigan fall, I want to go home. I miss the friends in the neighborhood we aren’t in, I miss the differing activities of the other place, I miss the trees and flowers and landscapes. I want to go home because whatever home I’m going to has something to feed my mind and soul and body.

The color I expect to find in Michigan during the third week of April will be fairly drab with small punches of bright, spring color. Nighttime lows will be around freezing and daytime highs around 50 degrees F. Fields are still too wet to plow and the soil will have to warm up before they can be planted. Winter wheat fields planted last fall are now bright green and there is a flush of red leaf buds along the tops of tree rows between fields. Maybe there will also be greening of undergrowth in the wooded areas of our neighborhood, daffodils growing in the parks, and flowering trees on city streets.

I know I will eagerly await the full spring color of May in Michigan, and then worry about the lack of color as the spring blooms fade but surprised when summer color comes with blooming annuals and perennials in gardens. And before I know it I’ll be visiting farm markets with tables full of fresh fruits and vegetables.

My inspiration for this post was provided by Amy’s Lens-Artist Photo Challenge #143 – Colorful April. Thanks Amy, and I really enjoyed your beautiful photographs of April Color.

A Bright Little Friend

Gray Catbird (Dumetella Carolinensis)

We had strolled around the Botanical Garden, walking out to the birding tower where wading birds were having breakfast in the shallow waters of the natural landscape. It was a good morning, and Jim had been very good-natured as I had taken lots of photos. Exercising this patience must have built up quite a hunger because he stated he was heading for the cafe for his coffee, scone and newspaper. More precisely, a chocolate chip scone. It has been eaten with no photographic evidence so you will just have to image picking up a slightly warm scone and biting into a tender biscuit with lots and lots of slightly soft rich dark chocolate. I’ll give you a minute to savor this moment.

We were savoring every bite, every crumb that we could retrieve from our shirt fronts, when we were joined by this little fellow who took a seat just to my left. It was a new bird to me but he seemed to know us or didn’t care who we were – he just wanted to let us know what he was expecting as our guest. Someone must have used the table before us because he very quickly swooped in, grabbed a crumb and flew away. But he returned and continued to communicate to us.

Jim is a very kind-hearted person and also loves feeding birds. Even though I reminded him that we aren’t suppose to feed wildlife in the garden, he put out an ever so tiny crumb of his half of the scone. This time the bird hopped onto the table, took a nibble and sat and looked at us. Could he be thinking that here were a couple of real suckers?

My Smithsonian Birds of Florida book says that this bird, “Often cocks tail upward and flicks from side to side.” Could we speculate what this behavior was communicating in this circumstance? In any case I’m thinking he is a “bright” little bird.

Linked to Becky’s Bright/Square challenge of the month.

A Little Pink from the Lily Pond

There are some days when we need a gentle pink lotus blossom in gentle morning light to elicit a gentle morning smile.

I was searching for pink in the Botanical Garden and got a “buy one, get one free.” When the freebies are reflections, it sweetens the deal.

The outside petals and supporting foliage of the lotus blossom looks tough and messy, but when I look inside I feel calmed and protected.

These lilies are added to this month’s Life in Colour challenge of finding pink in our world.

Glow Bright

Except for the photo that was over-exposed, this was the brightest one I took as I wandered around the Naples Botanical Garden on Monday. I spent quite a bit of time with my 50mm lens in the water lily garden. Love that lens.

I also love the April Squares theme of bright. Hope you follow and join in with Becky by clicking here.