Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Longwood Meadow Garden

Early Spring at Longwood 2019 | Photos B

We’ve exited the flower walk and are headed toward the lake. The photo above shows the lower end of the lake. Thankfully, it was virtually clear of algae and muck. The pink blossoms in the foreground are azaleas.

D took the following photos on the way to the gazebo area above. We’re walking through a forested area, on a path that slopes down toward the lower end of the lake and gazebo (above). It always feels like I’m walking into an outdoor cathedral when we get to this point. The second photo below shows a cinnamon fern. Finally, pink blossoms on one of the few azalea bushes still in bloom.

Now we’ve reached the gazebo shown at the top, and are looking across the water at a robin sitting on her full nest of hungry peeps!

Our main goal now is to stroll around the lake to the pond by the meadow. From the bridge crossing over into the meadow, this is what we saw–a lesson in how to climb a water-logged tree branch!


Now we’ve crossed the pond bridge, and get our first sighting of the meadow. My favorite place to be at Longwood.

We turn right at the path above, navigate a few mud holes, and see a mama and papa pair of Canadian geese by the pond. Then, in the meadow at the edge of the pond, we spot an orchard oriole! Very exciting, since we usually don’t see them. They migrate here for only four months of the year. Finally, just before leaving the pond area, a brilliant North American goldfinch.

Next we make our way uphill toward the far side of the meadow. D takes photos at will. I just keep walking. That way I don’t have to pose for anything!

Just below, we have a red-wing blackbird — super abundant in the meadow, and noisy. Then two photos of a tree swallow guarding the nest.



Now we’re at the top of the path, at a resting place. The pavilion is covered with this honeysuckle-like vine. Then, turning around, this is a view of the meadow, just to our left.

Finally, a gray catbird keeps an eye on us, followed by D’s one and only sighting of a butterfly.

Thanks again for coming along! Just looking at these photos makes me want to go back tomorrow.

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 15 May 2019
Photos taken by DAFraser, 6 May 2019 at Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens in April | Photos 1


Last Friday we joined at least 98% of the metro-Philadelphia area at Longwood Gardens. The big draw? Temperatures in the high 80s. The pathway from the parking lot to the Visitor’s Center was lined with small early bloomers. Those are Wild Oats above (lavender with yellow eye).

We walked to the café for lunch, followed by a long-anticipated walk in the Meadow. Here’s a quick look on the way to the newly renovated café, and then to the Meadow. In the first photo, the Conservatory is on the left; the café is behind the trees in the center.


 

Our walk was invigorating and a bit eery. First, Spring was barely beginning to peek out from the ground. Second, 26 percent of the meadow was burned off in mid-March as part of good meadow practices. Third, we saw only a handful of birds (swallows and an occasional predator), but no butterflies or bees at all. Still, it was worth every minute. Definitely not crowded, and a great workout after a winter of relentless snow, ice and wind.


Here are two views from the top of the meadow, looking back toward the flower walk, outdoor theater and café areas.

Things perked up a bit on the downhill walk toward the pond. Here’s a lovely bird chalet ready for occupancy (#31 in case the birds get lost),  a reassuring message from Longwood saying this will indeed become grand beauty on an awesome platform, and a couple of murky cold pond creatures. The second was like a flash on top of the water! Out of there the minute we were spotted.

Happy Monday, everybody! I’m glad you stopped by. Next time: a selection of photos from the other side of our visit to Longwood.

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 16 April 2018
Photos taken by DAFraser, 27 April 2018, Longwood Gardens and Meadow Garden

ready for harvest


Ripe and ready for harvest
The meadow lies before me
Still standing yet stripped
Of all but essentials

The sum of my present life
Waits for release into new life
Seeds dropped here and there
With no guarantees

There is no cure for death
The goal toward which
Every heartbeat has driven me
The home for which I long

I feel only loneliness and sorrow
At leaving behind loved ones
And this beautiful threatened world

D took this photo on our last visit to Longwood Gardens. No more stunning meadow flowers, and not so many joyous birds and butterflies. Instead, it’s full of late term life, ready to give its well-aged beauty to anyone willing to spend time looking and listening.

It isn’t as perky as it was just a month ago. Still, it isn’t ugly, or a sign that all is lost. Rather, it’s a sign that life is brief and fragile, and that it’s important to love it while we have it. One way or another, death comes to each of us sooner or later. With or without time for last goodbyes or heartfelt conversations.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 6 November 2017
Photo taken by DAFraser, 28 October 2017
Daily Prompt: Panacea

Happy Weekend Photos from Longwood

Have you ever seen leaves like those above? They’re in the sun garden just at the beginning of the flower walk. This time it’s all about late summer madness–a riot of color and texture and lush vegetation. No hiding. Just masses of color having their last fling before autumn begins in earnest.

Here’s the setting for the leaves shown above. I don’t know the name of the plant. All I know is that it thrives in the hot sun, and I could hardly tear my eyes away from the graceful folds and colors of the leaves.

Leaving this area we began the flower walk. Always the same basic color layout–cool colors on the first half, warmer colors on the second half, set off by a fountain in the middle, with a small detour to the right, overlooking a sunken garden. Today the golden warm colors reigned.

Here’s the central fountain, and a quick peek into the sunken garden. Don’t miss the chrysanthemums around the pond, getting ready for their turn to bloom.

Back on the flower walk now, here are several more gorgeous blossoms. We saw tons of dahlias, and various kinds of sunflowers. Below is a rare dahlia followed by an unusual sunflower and another dahlia. No, I did not take notes on names of flowers. I was too busy looking!

Time for a quick look at the late summer/early autumn meadow. It’s also decked out in yellow, orange and rusty colors. First a look as we came up over the crest and looked downhill from the forest toward the meadow. Then a look from above at one of several walking/hiking paths through the meadow. The sight was stunning–gold everywhere!

Next we have close-up shots that give more detail. The weather was warm, though there was a nice breeze and it wasn’t too humid. Just right.

 

Just to prove I was there….We took the central path up to the forest line, before walking around the perimeter toward the formal exit.


Here we are at the formal exit, looking back across the meadow to the old farm-house, now an historical museum.

Just putting this together was an exercise in craziness! D takes way too many gorgeous photos, don’t you think? Actually, putting this together was a relaxing, enjoyable way to end this week. Hoping you find beauty in small things this weekend.

Thanks for coming along!

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 22 September 2017
Photos taken by DAFraser, 11 September 2017 at Longwood Gardens
Daily Prompt: Leaf

Christmas at Longwood | Photos #1

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Christmas at Longwood is always spectacular. This year we began our walk outside, about an hour before the sun dropped below the horizon. The bird house above was for the birds, of course! Read the rest of this entry »

Flowers of Hope | from Amy

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Amy Carmichael wrote this delightful poem for children whose lives and wellbeing were at risk. Amy’s major life work was to rescue or receive these children and offer them an alternative. They lived together with staff members at the Dohnavur Compound in South India. Over the years, scores of children found safety and hope for a different future. Read the rest of this entry »

morning birdsong

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~~~Young Song Sparrow, Longwood Meadow

morning birdsong
calms my troubled heart
centers my soul

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Yesterday’s Sabbath was a challenge.
Not because my spirit didn’t welcome it,
but because my body kept voting No
to all the delights I’d planned. Read the rest of this entry »

My Secret Garden Annex

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Longwood Gardens, approaching the Meadow

I know. It’s about 45 minutes away from home. But it’s still my secret garden annex. A place of refuge and natural beauty any time of the year, plus occasional romantic walks in the woods.

Not to mention hot and sweaty hikes, Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Mom | Missing You

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Dear Mom,
I’m sitting here trying to put together a really nice letter for Mother’s Day. So far I’m getting nowhere. It isn’t because I don’t have ideas. It’s because I’m feeling a little lost today, and my ideas seem to be falling flat on their faces.

Last week was sad. Sister #2’s husband died, leaving us all gaping at the huge hole this left in our family. Sort of like the huge hole left when you died. Like yours, his death was relatively peaceful. Though he was in pain, his caregivers found a way to manage it so that his children and his nine grandchildren could be with him and Sister #2 when he died.

Some deaths are difficult. I’ve been reading a small book by Henri Nouwen called In Memoriam. It’s about his mother’s death. He talks about how many deaths he witnessed as a priest. Most were peaceful; some were difficult.

His mother’s death turned out to be difficult. This surprised him, though not totally. She often told him she feared death because she didn’t believe she’d been a very upstanding person. Maybe she didn’t feel ready.

I wonder how it will be for me? There have been times in my life when I know I didn’t feel ready. My worst nightmare was that my own fears would be proven true. That is, that I’ve lived a life unworthy of anything but judgment. Which is, of course, true.

Nonetheless, I don’t have this nightmare anymore. I know that whatever happens, I’m in the hands of a gracious God. Yet I do wonder what will be the manner and spirit of my death. And who will be with me.

Last week, the day after D and I heard the news about Sister #2’s husband, we spent the day at Longwood Gardens. It was a gorgeous day, with spring leaves and flowers bursting their seams. Lots of reminders about the way life and death are distinct and closely related. Here are more photos. This time we focused on the Meadow and the Flower Walk. That’s a tree swallow below.

Longwood Swallow

The Meadow Garden had been trimmed for spring and summer, leaving some ground cover for birds and small animals. This is only a fraction of the meadow. Great for hiking.

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Near the pond we saw several varieties of fern just beginning to unfurl. To me, this is more beautiful than their adult incarnations. Sort of like children–sweet and fresh. Newly minted!

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Finally, the flower walk. Here are some beauties, beginning with a look at one end of the walk. Colors are arranged with warm colors at one end, cool colors at the other. Here’s a sampling: tulips, lilies of the valley, lily tulips and coreopsis.

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Thanks for listening to my sadness about last week. It’s exactly what I needed right now. Have a happy day!

Love and hugs,
Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 10 May 2015
Photo credit: DAFraser, 29 April 2015

out for a look-see

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out for a look-see
fledgling eyes take in the world
blue-robed male scans sky

(click to enlarge)

* * *

Last week D and I hiked in the Longwood Meadow Garden. While we were at a distance from this bird house, we heard a huge racket Read the rest of this entry »

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