Sunrise over Lower Red Rock Lake

Sunrise over Lower Red Rock Lake
Sunrise over Lower Red Rock Lake

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Plan B was Very Good

February 5, 2017

I drove a little over an hour down to New Orleans to visit the Botanical Garden there. To get the most bang for my gas buck, I left early, planning to visit City Park which houses an art museum and the Botanical Gardens.

I arrived around 7:30 A.M. to find the park closed but parking allowed along Park Drive. I soon found out that the Rock and Roll Marathon was going on.  I missed the start but was around for a lot of the half marathon finishers and the first few of the marathon finishers. But there was plenty of time while the runners were out on the course to enjoy the park and a few of the bands that were all along the course. The runners got to enjoy lots of different kinds of New Orleans Music while viewing many of the historical buildings. Over 20,000 runners participated in the two events - marathon and half marathon.


What the start looked like - they actually ran in groups that started at different times with the elite athletes leaving first. (picture from the Rock and Roll Marathon Facebook Page) 

I started by taking pictures of the huge live oaks which I've already blogged about. Wondering about under their shade gave me a calm, happy feeling. And I found some varieties of flowers that were especially photogenic.


There are some pretty views within the 1,300 acre park



Loved these flirty azeleas


Think this was a persimmon but I'm sure one of my gardening friends will set me straight


Double variegated  azaleas are extremely photogenic


Even the most common variety of azalea looked beautiful in the early light 


I followed my ears to find some of the sources of the music. One group was playing at the finish line in the park. There were others all along the two courses.



Runners and watchers near the finish line



Half marathoners making a turn by one of the stages.  Check out the muslim looking guy getting into the music at the corner of the stage. He was grooving and taking his own pictures


The stage for the after race party was in the little 'village" of  stuff to sale to runners.
Two of these walkers were working the crowd. 


I took a long walk around the park while waiting for the Botanical Garden to open and enjoyed both the park and the incoming runners. I was looking for the wood ducks which I remembered as breeding on an island in the park, but didn't locate them. Coots, domestic mallards, and muscovies were the birds of the day. 



Flying muscovy


Coot framed by Spanish moss

Then I went back to the Botanical Garden, which I'd located earlier.  The doors were STILL locked at a little after 10:00 A.M. Then I saw the note saying that they were closed for the marathon.  I decided to make another pass around the Sculpture Garden behind the art museum and found it was open.  I spent at least another hour there.


A very open variety of saucer magnolia


I loved how the sculpture garden maintained the native plants


Loved this LOVE sculpture but wished I could have taken in in the late afternoon


I love mobiles and enjoyed this simple one


This was my favorite sculpture - a mass of abstract violins


A close up view of the violins


This huge pin was a neat counterpoint to the more traditional sculptures


I think this statue would look best when lying on the ground looking up at it. 


I enjoyed these warriors from outside the park, then from inside. They were
 even more interesting when I found they were done by a woman, Elisabeth Frink,
an important  20th century British Sculptor


I loved the detail on the "skin"


A View down one of the park roads - all closed to all but park workers


A typical view throughout south Louisiana

This quilt must have be sculptured in fiberglass


You can rent kayaks to play in the bayou that runs through the park


These ladies had just finished the half marathon - I actually asked them to pose for me and traded taking their pictures on their phones for this one. 


I saw many runners togged out like this


The Geico gecko was giving high fives to the half marathon finishers

So I got to have an adventure without having to lose anything from my bucket list. And in a few more weeks, the garden should be in full spring bloom. I'll make sure to get back there soon.