The Conservatory at Longwood Gardens is a welcome respite from the dark and dreary days of winter. Outside the landscaped grounds are cold, bleak and brown. Step indoors and we are welcomed with warmth and color.
Past the Main Conservatory and the Exhibition Hall, the Silver Garden and the Banana House, each step deeper into the labyrinth of corridors and rooms reveals ever more exotic plants. Bird of Paradise.
Walking into the Fern Passage brings us among some truly weird and wonderful plants. Look up! See the intricate pattern made from the spore-dotted fronds of the Australian Tree fern that towers over your head.
Not mosses at all, club mosses are vascular plants. We are familiar with Lycopodium, which resembles a teeny tiny Christmas tree, but on this Christmas day, we are introduced to Huperzia, sometimes known as fir moss.
As the year comes to a close, our souls protest the darkness of the oncoming winter. We must have light! Little wonder that many of our varied holiday traditions glow with strings of twinkling bulbs and shiny baubles.
On a cold, dark night, the holiday displays at Longwood Gardens are a particular delight for the eyes and the heart.
On entering the Main Conservatory, visitors are greeted with a towering tree trimmed in glass, glitter and feathers. White flowers and greenery line the dark pools and fountains.
In this season of light in the darkness, I wish for a world without war, famine, poverty and pollution; a world where every creature has a healthy and protected home; a world where all people live in peace and prosperity.
Whatever your traditions may be at this holiday season, I wish for you good friends, good food, and good cheer!
Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher. – William Wordsworth
Ha! You thought I would say “The Birds and the Bees”, didn’t you? Believe it or not, I do take photos of things besides birds. Herewith, a sampler of Spring Flowers and their Friends.
Dogwood, Yellow Iris and Crabapple blossoms at Heinz NWR. Of all the flowering trees, I think I like the Crabapples the best. What’s missing from these photos is the wonderful aroma that wafts over you as you pass near them.
A simple Dandelion in my yard, when I was playing with my macro set-up. I should have picked it long before it got to this point, but then I wouldn’t have been able to take its picture. Oh, well, more dandelions for me to photograph in the future!
It’s not at all unusual for me to get photos of the back end of critters. I guess you could say I’m often a little bee-hind.
FUN FACT: There are nearly 4,000 species of native bees in North America, at least 50 of which are bumblebees. This does NOT include the honeybees, which are non-native, having been imported from other parts of the world for pollination and honey production. One way bumblebees extract pollen is by a process called “buzz pollination.” The familiar buzzing of bumblebees is produced by the vibration of flight muscles, which in turn shakes the pollen out of the flowers. Pretty clever.