How disappointing!

First, let me tell you that Ashley and I had a great weekend!  I finally got to visit with a girlfriend from High School.  She moved to California  after her marriage some 36 years ago, and we have not been able to coördinate her visits to the East Coast at the right time for either of us – except for once about 30 years ago.  Her wonderful Dad,  died in April, and I was not able to attend the memorial service at that time, but she told me then that her mother would be having cataract surgery in July, and she would be flying out to NC then to help her Mom, and asked if we could meet then.  We did!

We spent several wonderful  hours Friday evening. talking almost constantly (imagine that!), picking right up where we left it so long ago.  In addition, I got to visit a while with Marilyn, her mother, who has always been a favorite person of mine.  Her cataract surgery went like a breeze.  They did both eyes, and she doesn’t look like anything had ever been done.  It was great to see her doing so well.  Ashley went with me, BTW, and though he did not know either my friend Christine or Marilyn much at all, he still managed to have a great time.  Unfortunately, as they had obligations for Saturday, we were not able to meet up again, but Ashley and I had made tentative plans to visit the North Carolina Zoo.  I had all my camera stuff with me, and was all set to go there, but at the last minute we both decided to visit the NC Botanical Gardens instead – it was closer to our location (near Durham, NC).  It was a very hot day, but since we expected some showers and a lot of shade at the gardens, we thought we would be much more comfortable.  Besides, as the Gardens were free, and the Zoo would have set us back $20 plus gasoline.

We made a mistake.  Should have gone to the Zoo.  The Gardens were a HUGE disappointment.  Obviously, funding for them has either been cut drastically, or completely – at least for the summer months when UNC  is out of session.  Almost all the plants and trees were drying out or overgrown, and even though some were labeled, it was hard to tell which was which, because they were now all grown into each other.  I saw exactly one butterfly, and though I heard a few birds, there were none anywhere near enough to identify, much less photograph.  Plus it was so  horribly hot and uncomfortably humid, that we had to leave in fairly short order, as I was close to passing out!  The photographs that I took of the plants, except for a couple shown below were completely unsatisfactory, and the umpteen I took of the butterfly (and it was a new variety for me, too!), were also very disappointing.

The weekend was redeemed, however, when we got to have dinner with our son Josh and his fiancée Sarah Beth and her family.  That was wonderful, so even though Saturday afternoon was a bust, we ended up having a great weekend.  With the bonus being that Josh’s garden was so beautiful with vegetables, we were able to take home a lot, and there were lots of butterflies in his yard, and some beautiful damsel flies.  Although I was a little “off my feed” from the photography point of view, I have yet to figure out why, but after doing some more histogram study, I will figure it out!) I still want to share with you the few sort-of satisfactory photos that I did get.  I hope to be posting some really good photos (at least for me) here soon!

Day lily at NC Botanical Gardens

More day lilies at the Gardens (showing drops of rain)

Pearly Crescentspot (Female) NC Botanical Gardens

Pearly Crescentspot

Damselfly, Hillsborough, NC

Damselfly

I’ll be working on a better show for you next time!  See you later!