The hills are alive with the… flaming azaleas. Color everywhere. I love when this explosion happens – it adds a new dimension to the garden that wasn’t there before. We start noticing spots of color way in the distance. When we are wandering around, each area feels distinct, but when the banks of color emerge, you really start to understand the relationship between each part of the garden.
We weren’t so smart this morning. We’re generally pretty good at remembering to carry an umbrella or two, but in the rush of the morning we somehow forgot. It had rained overnight, and the morning was the absolute perfect temperature for April. Everything was dewey and glossy and still. F protested the morning plans, but I ignored her complaints. We dropped her sister off at school and pulled into the garden lot. She hopped out and all was well again. It might have been one of my favorite visits yet.
We wandered pretty far into the place before we felt a few quick drops. We were still oblivious, despite having no umbrellas, no rain gear – I didn’t even have a camera case! We kept walking, away from the entrance, ignoring the signs in the sky. Then the rain started coming down in earnest, and I had a brief moment of panic. (For the camera, not for us.) Frances stopped for a second, peeled off her jacket, hesitated for a moment, shivering in the rain, and then handed it to me to wrap around the camera. We picked up the pace quite a bit, jogging all the way back to the front of the garden.
The camera stayed dry, we did not. By the time we rounded the last corner, the drops let up a bit. I unwrapped the camera and took a quick shot of the dripping rhododendrons near the entrance. She put her jacket back on, proud that she had saved the day. She called her dad to tell him about our adventures, and hopped out of the car in the driveway of her school in a much finer mood than she had entered it 75 minutes earlier. As did I.