Dragons & Monsters

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This week’s Fun Foto Challenge over at Cee’s Photography are the colors green and red.  It can be one or the other or both.

I went Friday night to see the lights at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.  I’m still editing down the photos, but thought I’d start your week by sharing some green and red photos from that night.

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This is, of course, the main path into the gardens.  I’d come shortly before sunset.  The day was warmish and I was able to wear my lighter coat.  Once the sun set though, brrrrrr.  I went back out to the car to get my sweatshirt, heavier coat and tripod for the night photography.  I carry winter hat and gloves in the car and took those with also.  The hat is not very glamorous (read – downright ugly) but it’s warm and I was glad to have it as the evening went on.

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Thankfully it wasn’t overly crowded and I could set up my tripod without someone walking into it or me.  Even as I carried it, people were careful to not bump me, which I very much appreciated.  When I say it wasn’t overly crowded, there was room to walk and stop to take pictures.  However, it was a great many more people than I’m used to seeing there. For some photos (like the one above), I had to really wait to get a photo without people in it.

The decorations were great!  I got all kinds of shots, from the conservatory being lit up to the Christmas trees to the gazebos decorated with gold and silver lights.  The temperature dropped though from the daytime high of 57 degrees to 37 degrees by the time I left.  I was really cold by then, but satisfied to have seen the lights this year.

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I love the reflections in the water!

I felt bad for the little kids though.  A number of them had meltdowns, I think from how late it was to the fact they couldn’t just run around.  The children’s area had a number of activities going on, so there were things specific for them to do.  It was hard to not be sad for the families whose children weren’t coming home from school ever again.  I’d so looked forward to going to the lights all week and wanted to enjoy my evening of photography, but the days events kept intruding into my thoughts.

One of the things I’ve been doing at the gardens is asking people if they’d like me to take their pictures.  Sometimes people are reluctant, but I point out that they’re having a lovely time and wouldn’t it be nice to have a picture to remember their visit?  I did several photos that evening, but one couple surprised me when they turned around and asked if I didn’t want a picture of myself.  I was surprised!  After an initial hesitation, I thought it was a great idea.

Yeah, the shirt clashed with the tree.  I didn't plan that too well!

Yeah, the shirt clashed with the tree. I didn’t plan that too well!

It’s going to be a busy week between a few last preparations for Christmas, deadlines at work before year end close begins in January, and keeping up with my diet, exercise, and sleep.  I’m really looking forward to being off between Christmas and New Years – yippee!

Have a good week yourselves.

I started posting again in A Daily Life, my other blog for bloggers, writers and diarists.  The latest post is a warning about spam when another blog lists link upon link, one of which happens to be yours.  Read more here.  As a reminder, the intent of A Daily Life is to share writing prompts, book reviews, ideas for writing, and encouragement on creativity.  It also contains various technical things that a blogger might be interested in such as adding widgets to your sidebar (a perennial favorite).  If you’re interested in its various topics, be sure to subscribe.