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Tiptoeing through the...lotus flowers?

JAPAN | Thursday, 22 July 2010 | Views [2028] | Comments [1]

Megumi and I took a trip to the Southern Botanical Gardens here on Okinawa last Wednesday.  Neither of us had been there before and we were lured there by promised of the lotus flowers in bloom.

This lovely surfing cow greeted us on the way in.  Quite the sight!

There are three "lakes" at the Gardens.  We stopped here at "Rainbow Lake" to admire the scenery and feed the koi.

I loved the vines hanging off this bridge!

As you can tell, the koi were very happy to have us feed them.  Reminded me of Pymatuming Spillway in PA.

It was nice to get out of the city and into a tropical paradise, though it was definitely Okinawa summertime - very hot and humid.

Posing with the fountain and gift shop behind me.

I enjoyed taking photos of the flowers peeking up through the lilly pads.

So pretty!

Then came the lotus flowers in the "Polynesian Lake."  I had no idea they grew to be so tall!

The dried seed pods are often used in flower arrangements.  They always remind me of something off of Star Trek.

A huge lotus blossom!

This is my hand next to a lotus leaf to give you some size perspective.

I'm not sure who would think to bring a fishing pole to the Botanical Gardens, but at least the sign was cute.

Megumi took a moment to seek some shade under a lotus leaf.

Did I mention the Botanical Gardens is situated near the end of the flight line?  I never grow tired of seeing the sleek beauties of our fighters, though we'd have to halt conversation ever time they flew overhead.

Megumi tells me these little yellow and red things are very hot peppers, similar to habanero peppers.  Evidently they pack quite a punch.

Not only did we feed koi, we fed goats, too!

They had their own little island in the Polynesian Lake and they were quite happy to see Megumi.

Anywhere there were sinks in the Gardens, the basin was a real, gigantic sea shell.  I thought that was a truly unique and quite cool touch.

So many pretty flowers!

We were quite pleased to make the acquaintance of this dragonfly.  He stopped by long enough to pose beautifully for our cameras and then went about his merry way.

I thoroughly enjoyed this little hut along the walkway.  Sweet relief to get out of the sunshine for a few moments.  And I thought the climbing yellow flowers were so pretty!

I also liked the leaf prints in the cement inside the hut.  Very clever.

And speaking of clever, check out their floating planter!

I don't remember the last time I climbed a tree using a ladder, but this photo op was just too good to pass up.  You don't realize just how high you are until you start to climb back down.  :)

They've done a wonderful job of making everything on their grounds look pretty and inviting.

Of course, only four short days after our Fuji-san trip, I'm not sure anything could have made stairs look inviting.

A view back to the bridge we had crossed.  Absolutely loving all the greenery!

Megumi, enjoying a rest in the hammock.

Did I mention we saw quite a few banana spiders in the foliage? 

And they were huge!  (And evidently hungry.)

I really wish I could have gotten a perspective shot of this sucker.  I did stand next to his web so we could say for certain that it was taller than I was.  This was the largest spider I've ever seen in my life.  I'm so incredibly thankful he wasn't in my apartment.  While Brandon and I signed a peace accord with the big brown spider we found in our building near the elevator last year, I think if this one was in our apartment, I'd quietly agree to move out and let him have the apartment all to himself.  I had no idea they came this large.  (By the way, though they look tiny, the other spiders in the photo are not small by any stretch of the imagination, just in case you were wondering.)

By the time we finished our meandering, we were thinking "Kumo Gardens" would have just as appropriate as "Botanical Gardens."  :)

We said goodbye to the Shisa on the way out, and thanked him for letting us visit his beautiful Gardens.

All in all, a very fun girls day!

---Arielle

Comments

1

Great photographs! I'll give you an A+ on composition. :) Very nicely balanced, with good symmetry. The flowers are beautiful, and spiders are very tricky things to capture.. they always seem to go out of focus soon as you click the button.

Thanks for sharing.

  Mel Jul 23, 2010 8:43 PM

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