This is our favorite spot in the garden. For a short time we lay claim to the chairs when we visit. On weekends they are sometimes taken by others, but on a weekday we are more often than not guaranteed a seat in our quiet spot. The next photo is our view while sitting in those chairs.We take in everything we see in and around the pond. So peaceful that we stayed for over half an hour, chatting and hearing the ribbit of frogs and birds chirping in the trees. Bliss!
The turtles were out on a log in the middle of the pond. It was a cloudy day but they didn't seem to mind.
Earlier we had seen what we thought was a very odd looking duck fly past, not odd really, just different. It was while we were still on the other side, in the more manicured part of the garden, but it had come from this direction. After we had been sitting for 20 minutes or so, we saw a larger bird fly in, the odd looking duck was back. It was obscured by all the undergrowth and being ever curious, I got up and moved in the direction I saw it land.
Our odd-looking duck turned out to be a Green Heron.
I was very happy as it had been about a year since the last time I saw one, and I don't ever remember spotting one at the gardens.
It was obviously looking for fish, but for our time together I didn't see it catch anything.
What a lovely sighting!
This is a good time to come to the garden. We will be back and will stay longer next time, just to see what else will fly in.I always find these stumps very interesting. The one below is the same but the top part has broken off.
I took a photo of the explanation.
The following is a quote of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, from his ballad poem "Evangeline" published in 1947.
"Over their heads the towering and tenebrous boughs of the cypress
Met in a dusky arch, and trailing mosses in mid-air
Waved like banners that hang on the walls of ancient Cathedrals."
We are making our way around the pond now. I have always liked the fact that there are many bird houses scattered around the garden. This one hangs from another Bald Cypress.
We have walked by the following plant many times, but this is the first time I have seen it blooming, not having been at the right time to see those interesting red flowers.
It is an Eastern Sweet Shrub (Calycanthus floridus).
At the link which you will find if you click on its name, you will read that it blooms in spring and early summer. It is valued for the sweet, fruity fragrance of its flowers, and the fragrance attracts numerous insects that in turn attract birds. The flowers, leaves and twigs are dried to make potpourri. It has rich, dark green foliage that turns golden-yellow in the Fall. Last but not least they have no serious insect or disease problems. You will find out more from the link above.
It is also known by other names which are sweet bubby, sweet Betsy and Carolina allspice.
Next we have a Hybrid Pitcher Plant - Sarracenia x catesbaei - Native to Virginia (I found a marker in front of the plant). Lots of information at the website about this carnivorous plant (click on the red lettering), and if you scroll down to "Sarracenia History and Background", you can read more of its history.
We are almost back to the main garden now.
First, we take one more look across the pond. We are on the opposite side now. The water lilies are multiplying.
"It took me time to understand my water lilies. I had planted them for the pleasure of it; I grew them without even thinking of painting them."
~Claude Monet~I spotted a Broad-winged Damselfly, Calopterygidae, and managed to get off one quick shot. I read that there are 150 species in this family, nine of which are found in United States. If you click on its name in red you can learn more.
We say one last goodbye to the Green Heron, and thank him for keeping us company. It was a joy to see him.
Onto the next section of the garden. More next time. Thank you for coming along with us and enjoy your day.