A Day in the "Woods"

Today I took a trip to the Horticultural Gardens at the community college in the neighboring county. It was sooo nice there, but I should have known. I mean, in order to get there, I had to pass through neighborhoods of houses that cost more than I will ever make, pass by several driveways leading to country clubs that said, "Members Only" so those of us who are not members, won't mistakenly turn in. Instead of having crosswalks, I saw signs that indicated that people bike frequently. And then there was that fancy private school on the left. Yep, I was in another world. And this world had a special kind of quiet. A nice kind of quiet.

When I finally figured out the correct entrance to the gardens, I immediately unpacked my gear and spent some time re-familiarizing myself with my tripod. Yes, it has been a while. I was glad to be in the gardens because all the plants were properly labeled with their common and scientific names. That will keep me from labeling my pictures, "The Purple Flower" or "Yellow Flower II". :-) The garden is maintained by the students of the horticulture department and the department teachers on campus use the garden for teaching purposes. Good deal.

There were not many people out. I know this because I passed the same couple of families multiple times in different parts of the garden. The beauty of the South is that by the time you pass the same person twice, you feel like you know them. Can you believe it, but I even let this kid use my camera? She was so excited because she has an interest in photography (says her mom) and she had never used a "real" camera before. She was all smiles and that made me feel good inside. Hey, maybe her mom will purchase one for her. I hope so because it is a worthy investment for someone so interested.

Well, after a while, I started feeling more comfortable with my camera and I began to "see" all these shots, some of which I dont' have the experience or equipment to make happen right now, but I believe one day I will be able to truly capture what I "see" the way I see it. In some other photographs I feel I captured what I intended.

I couldn't cover the entire garden today. I don't know if it is as big as I think or if it is that I kept stopping so much that I really wasn't going very far. Who knows, but I would like to go back to these gardens on several occasions, preferrably in the early morning. I know it's better to capture flowers before 10 A.M., but that didn't happen today because I was a sleepy head and didn't get up til late. Plus, I didn't schedule this trip until today. Next time.

Some things that I learned or reaffirmed today:
  1. I need to use my camera more.
  2. I need to learn as much as I can about the not so obvious features of this camera. [I've got to break out my manual now.]
  3. Manual mode beats Automatic any day!
  4. I need a different lens - a better lens for what I want to do in nature photography.
  5. God's creation is BEAUTIFUL!!!

Cornus Florida 'Variegata'
Variegated Flowering Dogwood

Have a great weekend!


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