My friend, Les, newly morphed from virtual to real, and his wife, Shelly, invited me to come spend a night with them in Norfolk. Les wanted to personally show me the garden he helps manage, the Norfolk Botanical Garden. I arrived at his house after a long day of playing my way through the Virginia Beach area, including visiting the Back Bay National Wildlife Area and First Landing State Park. As soon as I met Shelly, and brought my stuff in, Les and I were off to visit the garden.
There is a fabulous lantern show there called Asian Lanterns. The features are huge and are interesting by both day and night, but become magical at dusk.
We arrived early enough to grab a golf cart and get quick overview of the garden. Spring is starting up and more and more buds are bursting into bloom. I only had time and light for a few quick shots.
|This is one of the saucer magnolias|
|I adored all the different things going on here.|
|I think this a white star Magnolia|
|We got to this sculpture as the setting sunlight was captured by the glass leaves|
Then it was time to put the cart away and join the throngs that were moving through the huge lantern show.
|A series of arches decorated with monkeys|
|Flowers were featured in several exhibits|
|These calla lilies were my height|
|Some calla lilies were blue|
|These looked like tiger lilies with the blues|
|This was a huge display, larger than a party boad but set up on water, so complete with reflections|
|These two swans would fill a large room|
|Head study of one of the huge swans|
|Of course there were dragons|
|This was my favorite dragon|
|And lots of bugs in a big collection - this is a beetle|
|There were lots of butterflies scattered about - some moved their wings|
|Another pair of the butterflies - the one in front was moving|
|Even frogs had their chance to shine|
|A pair of harlequin ducks moved around on a track over water|
|I had to take a burst of pictures to get one that was mostly lighted. The lights ran through the fan|
|There were several of these monsters|
|They are built from little jars filled with colored water|
|This was part of a larger exhibit of panda bears and bamboo|
|The bees in the honeybee exhibit were a little scary|
|The goldfish were making kissy mouths like goldfish do everywhere|
|There was a whole orchard of lucky peaches - they are believed to bring longevity|
|This one kind of missed it's message - everyone called it the "Angry Bananas" but it is supposed to be moons and stars|
But by far, the most impressive display was a huge castle. It looked magical from a distance and got even more interesting close up.
|The fantastical castle|
|A closer look at part of it|
|It was built of dishes - each added by hand, then the whole unite lifted and stacked with a crane, before being attached to the rest from inside|
|Plates, cups, bowls were all used|
|And there were even spoons on trays|
|All tied together|
|There were small houses around the bottom - each had a different figure|
|One of the final exhibits was of Mt. Fuji|
Afterwards, we met Shelly for supper and had an enjoyable visit. The next morning, Les and I got up and went of exploring. More later.
Les earlier put out his blog on the building of the displays with much better pictures than mine. Check it out. And hurry to see it in person - it runs until the end of April in Norfolk, Virginia.
I have all my pictures of this magical place on Flicker.
Thanks for visiting and I appreciate your comments.