Dragons & Monsters

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.

Holidays Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens Virginia Weekly Photo Challenge

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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at www.livingtheseasons.com.

24 Comments Leave a comment

    • Thanks as always for stopping by. The whole lighting display was cool and I’ll be getting more pictures out to share. I was there pretty late and I think for a lot of kids, it was just too late, too cold, and too confining to not be able to run or touch things. As you point out, they really get tired easily at this time of the year. I don’t miss that part of my raising my daughter.

    • I love going to the botanical gardens. It’s a place of refreshing for me, in addition to the many great photos that I take there.

      You enjoy your holidays also! And yeah, I will really enjoy the time off!

  1. Love the dragons! Saw The Hobbit Fri night with my niece and her husband – and Bob of course. Didn’t get a good look at the dragon from the story yet – maybe in the next installment. It was a nice Christmas visit with these charming kids – both elementary teachers and I am so proud of them. Thanks again for taking me along – loved your pic by the tree! K

    • I’m glad you enjoyed going out with me! Sounds like you had a lovely weekend – so much fun to spend timely with family like that. I get my turn this weekend.

  2. What a beautiful spectacle! Thank you for sharing your photographs with us! Nancy, your comment about taking pictures of others reminded me of the time my mother took my sister and I to Hawaii. I took a picture of the sunset and there was a couple walking hand and hand on the beach. They were perfectly silhouetted in the light. Later I ran into them in the hotel and asked them if they would like me to mail them a copy of the photo when we returned home. At first they looked shocked, but then gave me their address. I got a lovely letter back thanking me for the lovely memento of their anniversary visit to the islands.
    I’m certain that in your case you were of course using their cameras. What a lovely idea to share a kindness through offering to take someone’s picture! I really hadn’t ever thought of that. ~Lynda

    • What a great story – thanks for sharing it! I did take the picture on their cameras. I didn’t want to get into trying to get E-mail addresses and sending it, etc.

      • New tech does make it easier. Back then it was send it to the lab for processing, and then mail it away in a catalog envelope with cardboard to protect it. However, your way is the easiest of all!

    • The new technology makes a huge difference. For me, I can do something nice for people without getting overly involved with them. Very few say no and I’ve gotten a lot of really nice “thank you’s” from people. It’s a little thing, but not many people offer to do it.

  3. It’s funny how we are always taking pictures of other people but never get any of ourselves. The other day my son said he needed some pictures of him and I, and after much searching we only found a couple. I have hundreds of pictures of him, but since it is always me taking the photos, there are very few of him and I. I regret that now :(. Thanks for the light show and have a very merry Christmas!!!

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