Monday, March 28, 2011

Norfolk Botanical Garden, Norfolk, Virginia

Thank you for all your caring and sweet comments from my last post. Things are slowly returning back to normal and I hope to stop by your blogs sometime during the next day or so. The wedding from what I heard was as you would imagine, a very special day for the bride-and-groom, and the happy couple are now enjoying their honeymoon on the west coast.

This is me outside the Visitors' Center at the Norfolk Botanical Garden in Virginia. I've been here many times over the years and always try to visit on our trips down to see Gregg's family who live in the next town. You can view a very interesting timeline on the history of Norfolk if you click here. I am standing next to one of the 300 plus Mermaids scattered throughout the city, all painted by local artists. This one is covered in flowers and leaves to honor the garden, whereas the one at the zoo is painted with the markings of a tiger. I posted one last year when we visited the Norfolk Navy Base dressed as a sailor, so you get the idea. Right at the bottom of this post is a more detailed look as shown in a collage of photographs. You can click on all the photos to get more detail.

While Gregg and his Dad spent some quality time together, Celia and I headed for the garden. It is only about 15 minutes away from their home. Below you can see a beautiful large vase of flowers inside the visitors' center. We wanted to find out about the eagles that were nesting nearby. You can see a video I posted of both parents feeding their chicks right here.

The paths closest to the nest are cordoned off to the general public, so that they are disturbed as little as possible.

We passed these young mothers enjoying a stroll and further along there were several photographers with tripods and long lenses, all hoping to get a good sighting. Often you can observe the eagles sitting on branches in the tree tops or flying into the nest. We were told by a gentleman that the best spot was at the designated viewing area, which that day had been ignored by most people, who preferred staying as close to the nest as possible. We took his word and headed for the observation area which you can see in the photo below.

Celia brought her binoculars along.

This little boy's mother, at his urgent request, lifted him up so that he could get a better view through that telescope.

We stayed there for two hours but did not have any luck spotting them. From what a photographer told me, one of the birds had just returned to its nest before we arrived and she showed me a good shot she had taken. I made do with a photo of the nest which you can make out below-center of the next photograph.

The only 'bird' I got was this wasp crawling up the pole. I am not sure if he is a mud dauber or a paper wasp.

While waiting I became somewhat restless but thanks to these interesting little creatures, I found something to photograph, a mud dauber or a paper wasp? I don't know enough to know for sure but I do know that the elongated nest below is that of mud dauber.

This is a different type of nest made by the paper wasp. It goes around scraping bits of wood off structures such as this, and his nest does indeed look a bit like a collection of paper swirls.

We passed by a shallow brook already covered with a carpet of blossoms.

The daffodils were everywhere.

We passed by the sculpture garden.....

and lots of trees showing off their blossoms.

Here's Celia.

More cherry blossoms.....

more sculptures scattered around the garden.....

more daffodils to bring a smile to anyone's face......

"when all at once I saw a crowd, a host of golden daffodils"..... l-u-v-e-r-l-e-y .....

I have photographed this statue before surrounded by daffodils. The last time I arrived passed their peak and was hoping for better luck this time, but they had been replaced by other flowers. Maybe next year the daffodils will be back.

Flowers are starting to bloom everywhere, what a wonderful time of the year.

Here is the photo of our Mermaid. Please enlarge if you want a more detailed look.


  1. Wonderful photographs Denise-looks like you had a brilliant day ! Isn`t it lovely to get out and about in the sunshine -the blossom looked gorgeous on those trees- I adore this time of year !

  2. Wonderful post , Diane! I would love to visit this garden. Sorry, you missed seeing the eagles. The mermaids are pretty and all the daffodils are loverly.

  3. Looks like a really neat place. At some point I need to get to that part of Virginia.

  4. What a lovely garden and area. Amazing how much spring you have.

  5. Beautiful ~ who doesn't love plants and sculptures?!
    'hugs from afar'

  6. Dear Denise,
    Your pictures are beautiful, I love the flowers in your collages!

  7. It's a shame you didn't see the eagles after all your patient waiting - maybe next time.
    The mermaid is beautiful - I can imagine the others are just as intriguing.
    Hope you're both past the worst of the 'flu.

  8. I bet it seemed good to go out without freezing. I enjoyed your pictures and what a variety there is. You always take such good pictures, glad you enjoyed your day.

  9. Glad to read that you are feeling better Denise. I too am doing some catching up and enjoyed this tour. We have never been to the Botanical Gardens, but it looks like someplace we should add to our "to visit" list.

  10. beautiful photos, and hope you are getting over the worst of the cold?

  11. I'll have to keep this garden in mind when we visit Virginia Beach later this month. We have plans to visit the aquarium, walk the boardwalk and visit our friends. I loved the pictures of the cherry blossoms. I sure miss seeing them at Washington, DC.

  12. What a great place to explore and enjoy a spring day. Lovely photos!