As I mentioned on Monday, my visit to the Spa at Hotel Hershey entitled me to free admission to the botanical gardens. Since it is November I didn't expect to see much more than what this shot displays. True, it is no where near peak season in any sense of the word but there were still some lovely sights and pleasant surprises to be found.
First I noticed this large tree trunk which had been carved. Apparently it was a rather revered old oak tree that had been struck by lightning earlier in the year. They did not want to have to cut down the whole tree so a chainsaw artist did some rather impressive carvings over the course of three days. There are various carvings of wildlife on all side of the trunk.
Here you can see the two owls, the eagle and a butterfly at the top of the tree. Can you believe this was done with chainsaws?
Since it was November and a little bit further south than where I am there were still a few trees with some lovely colored leaves on them.
This one and the prior one were in the Japanese garden. Don't ask me the names of trees and plants. There were signs telling me but I don't remember.
There was a small section devoted just to ornamental grasses. The blonds and brunettes come out this time of year.
The big surprise was the rose garden. Number one, it was massive. I'd estimate is was roughly the size of a football field. Number two, it was still in bloom. They haven't had the hard killing frost we've had a bit to the north fortunately so that gave me some really lovely things to look at.
May I say, I took over a hundred pictures of roses alone. But when you are confronted with such surprising expressions of color it's hard not to. Plus, I didn't have anyone tugging on my arm to drag me along. That was nice.
But even the monochrome roses were hard to resist. Doesn't that look like something Georgia O'Keefe would have painted?
Have you ever seen a rose with one color on top of the petal and another color on the underside of the petal? I hadn't.
This one you'll need to click to make it bigger. I was impressed that my camera caught the tiny insect on the edge of a petal. It's just a Kodak point and shoot. I was kind of tickled to get that detail. I still drool over higher quality cameras with macro lenses.
I took this and a couple other purple ones for my mom since it's her favorite color. This was my favorite because of the ruffly texture of the petals.
More surprising color. Getting tired of roses yet? Be patient, please. I had to narrow this all down from over 100 remember?
I thought the pastels and the radial symmetry (help me out geometry experts, is that what I mean?) were nice here.
I just call this Old and New. And there ends the tour of the rose garden.
The herb garden also had a few things in it that still had some life. Here we see Hens and Chicks.
Lavender. For you, Susie.
Don't ask me what this was called. I forget.
This looks like milkweed to me but it was growing very close to the ground whereas milkweed is quite tall. So I don;t know if that's what it was or not.
The evergreen section was in full pine cone bloom.
finally, I crunched my way out through the fallen leaves and headed off to my dear friend's house.