Sunday, November 1, 2009

Chasing shadows

On Saturday, I drove to Powell Gardens, a botanical garden near Kansas City.

Although it was Halloween, it wasn't scary. There was hardly anyone there and most of the trees had lost their leaves, making them look sort of like skeletons, but still, no hint of scary. The sun was out, the sky was blue, the temperature was in the 60s and it was a perfect day to go hiking with a handbag (and camera).

This American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens "American Brave") grew itself around a bridge post. Soooo pretty.

Love it. It's on the list. Just have to figure out a way to get a lot of blue water near it when I grow it because the golden yellow orange of the berries against the blue water? Can't think of anything prettier at the moment.

On the other side of the bridge, the female counterpart (Celastrus scandens "Diana") was growing around the other post but with red berries instead. This is not a picture of it. I was too smitten with the golden yellow orange of the "boy" bittersweet.

I love looking at bridges these days.

And this one cast wonderful shadows.

On the other side of the bridge was a "living wall," a long rock wall with many, many, many succulents planted in the cracks.

I'm not sure if I'm that crazy about it. It's got sort of a "deer head trophy hanging on the wall" kind of thing going on.

But you certainly do focus on each plant because of how each plant is framed by the rock. Some of them are pretty odd looking though.

Hens and chicks are such strange looking plants. For some reason it doesn't bother me to see them growing sideways like this.

I need to find out what these flower bracts belong to because the pink shrimp tail looking flowers were very cute when they shook a little in a passing breeze.

Back on the trail of long shadows.

I look forward to seeing what those dried up fields of wildflowers look like when they're in full bloom when I return next spring or summer.

Most of the trees and plants had lost their leaves so reading their identifying signs was pretty darn easy. I just have no idea what a lot of those trees or dormant plants look like though.

This is the bark of a common persimmon tree. Why is it that when things are described as "common," they turn out to be so unusual?

One of many clouded sulphur butterflies on the Aster tataricus "Jindai."

There were ten times as many bees. That aster patch was a hopping spot.

End of the trail. Still pretty. I didn't find one thing that was scary.

Not one thing. Dang. I had been following shadows that got longer and more dramatic throughout the day. I could have ended the day with a scary shadow pose of myself but I forgot. Oh well, I suppose a scary pose is something a shadow is unlikely to do if it belongs to a woman who hikes with a handbag.


Maureen said...

When I took all the pictures I've been posting of Provincetown, I was hiking with a handbag too. A Burberry, in fact, with a quilted leather coat.

Rural Rambler said...

Maria I love Powell Gardens, it has been awhile since I have been there. When we lived in St.Lou we went to Shaw a whole lot. You have taken some wonderful pictures! The Bittersweet Bridge capture is awesome, I think I would have to mat and frame it. Just beautiful pictures. Yum, a persimmon.

Hilary said...

Such beautiful photos. I love bridges too.. and of course shadows.

MObugs said...

I love Powell Gardens! It is so beautiful there. Just don't visit when it is 105 in the shade UGH!

Ellyn O. said...

Your photos are beautiful, as usual, Maria. Have you thought about trying to find a "Bridge to Nowhere" in your travels, although the one with the shadows kind of looks that way. And a happy birthday on Wednesday, by the way.

Nikolai Tsvetkov said...


Can you tell me what is the name of the yellow blooming plant here?


Maria said...

Nik-I have no idea what that plant is. Next time I'm at Powell Gardens, I'll look a little harder to find the identification tag. In the meantime, I can post the photo on some gardening sites to see if they know what it is. I don't have a way to contact you so keep checking back for the answer. It is pretty, isn't it? :-)

Nikolai Tsvetkov said...

Thanks, Maria! It is beautiful, really! I found it. It is ajania pacifica. I bought one. :)
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