One of my favorite places to visit in D.C. is the US Botanic Garden. As many years as I’ve visited the Garden, I’ve somehow overlooked the outside area. Not this time, I wanted to see their exhibit “Amber Waves” and so did Kelsey and one of her friends. They indulged me by letting me tag along while they visited. This was the first time I’d been there when there was no exhibit in the main area between the east and west wings. But then, most of Amber Waves was outside. I also enjoyed the photographic exhibit of the work of women photographers who had shot America’s “…purple mountains majesty and amber waves of grain.” I was disappointed that South Dakota had not made the cut to get into the gallery. There are nine shots in this post, I’m going to put them all in the post versus putting them in a slideshow.
View of Congress to walking to the Garden.
The day was cloudy but the sun would occasionally break through creating some very good lighting conditions. Note the scaffolding on the building, I guess “congress is under construction.” I love this side of the Capitol Building, the view truly is All American.
Both of the girls have been looking forward to seeing the Garden and you can probably tell by the smiles of their faces. This was shot in front of the main building!!
The Amber Waves of Grain were not at all what I had anticipated.
I think that was because of my ignorance about what I should be looking for in the Garden. I went inside and told the young lady at the info desk that I was interested in the A…… She said they were outside in the individual beds and so…off I went. I immediately noticed what the South Dakota lad in me knew was wheat, or at least I was pretty sure it was wheat. That’s the shot below. But then, I’d been told, there were other grains hidden in those same beds. Hmmmmm. Now, I was on a walkabout so I normally have lots of times to notice things, but this time, my noticing powers were evidently not up to speed. I only saw the normal plant. I kept looking, I was disappointed. I needed more guidance. Maybe I am not botanically tilted…but I’d like to be like that. I found the video on wheat rust extraordinarily interesting. What a challenge for scientists and farmers.
Next up was the outside garden!
We walked through the butterfly and bee garden to the “Regional Garden” where plants from the region are grown without chemicals or insecticides. I noticed bumblebees and honey bees throughout and took this shot of a bee covered with pollen. Bees are facing such a struggle, a crisis really, and they need help because they aren’t being too successful on their own.
Peace & Tranquility
As you go deeper and deeper into the garden, you go deeper and deeper into tranquility. Or, at least I did. Flowing water, gentle sounds, buzzing bees, glorious flowers, and yet intellectually I knew that the busy streets of DC were just a few feet away. But I took a deep breath and blocked out thoughts of piling up emails, deadlines approach, etc., and focused on the babbling brook. The shot below is a small “creek” built to capture imaginations and take you to a place far, far away. It worked for me.
Shocking pull back to reality
So there I am, wandering hither and yon in a peaceful island of tranquility and POW! I make a turn and I feel like I’ve been transported to a scene in the movie “Planet of the Apes” or some other post- Apocalyptic movie. I admire the technology of the greenhouse building of the Garden but the view sci-fi like. To me, scary sci-fi.
Our next stop was the Rose Garden, not the White House variety but the Garden variety. Smile. Not many roses in bloom. I looked at the bushes, several dozen of them, and found few blooms. I finally found this one and took the shot. To demonstrate the failings of my Noticing Powers, I hadn’t actually seen the rosebuds around the blossom. But then I think that perhaps the fact that I singled this bloom out was my hidden powers of noticing so I guess I’m okay. But still…
Inside we headed for the “West Wing.” After looking at the exhibits we headed for the orchid display. Dark and humid. I’m not a real fan. But that’s where we were headed. One exhibit was all dark, dense green vegetation. Except right in the middle of that green wall there was this explosion of gold and red. Vivid is not strong enough for what this is in real life.
Succulents is another word for cactus. Or cacti. Depends on how many you are hosting. They have a spectacular desert exhibit in the garden. There really aren’t words to describe the very broad cross section of the American desert that are in this section of the Garden. Everyone should see the Garden. The Garden. America’s showplace.