Rerun: Detour Part 1

Botanic Garden 1 thek9harperlee

I kid about my human mommy/blogging assistant not needing a vacation, but everyone needs a little time to stop and smell the roses . . . and sometimes, if you open your eyes and pay attention, you’ll find the most beautiful roses on life’s little detours. I hope Mommy’s enjoying her break, and I hope you’ll enjoy taking this little detour with me one more time . . .

Sometimes, days just don’t work out the way you had planned. Yesterday seemed like it was going to be one of those days. All week, my human mommy looked forward to taking me to the BREC Independence Community Park Botanic Garden, just down the street from our house. Although the week had been quite wet and dreary, the weathermen promised that Thursday would be beautiful. Even I was beginning to get excited about our outing.

Alas, the weathermen were wrong. We awoke to more drizzle and overcast skies. Then my mommy got sidetracked, and our field trip was pushed off to the afternoon, when whatever sun we might have would not be good for photos. It seemed like our day was taking a very bad detour.

Botanic Garden 3 thek9harperlee

But we went ahead with our plans, and I’m so glad that we did. The park was beautiful. Despite the recent rains, the butterfly garden was in full bloom.

Clouds thek9harperlee

The clouds still hung a little low in the distance . . .

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but the views from the bench . . .

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and from the herb garden ledge were magnificent.

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The roses were beautiful, even the petals that had been pushed to the ground by the rain drops.

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The amazing fragrances helped to brighten the day.

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Our trip to the park and botanic garden turned out to be pretty special, and I learned something very significant: Even on life’s little detours, it’s important to stop and smell the roses.

Harper Lee from A to Z: R is for ROSES

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Roses are red . . .

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. . . and roses are pink . . .

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. . . and roses are white . . .

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. . . and some roses are Golden!

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Today’s A to Z Challenge rose photos were taken at the BREC Independence Community Park Botanic Garden, where the irises are also in full bloom. Wherever you are and whatever is blooming around you, I hope that you’ll take a moment to stop and smell the roses . . . or the irises . . . or the tulips . . . or the daffodils . . . .

This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. See you tomorrow!

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Harper Lee from A to Z: C is for CHARIOT

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I know exactly what you’re thinking right now: Miss Harper Lee, that’s just a car. I must respectfully disagree. This is my chariot, and it takes me to the most fabulous places: weekends in New Orleans and St. Francisville, walks around beautiful parks, visits with my human grandparents in Texas, trips to the LSU Vet School for rehab (the kind I do for my hips and elbows, not the Lindsay Lohan kind). Once I even traveled in my chariot to visit Santa Claus. Tomorrow you’ll get to see another place my chariot takes me. But do you want to know the best thing about my chariot? It comes with another C word: chauffeurs!

This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. See you tomorrow!

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Four Days, Four Walks, Four Parks

Goodwood park thek9harperlee

On Monday morning, we were finally greeted by the most glorious fall weather: cool temperatures, low humidity, and crystal clear blue skies. The weather humans promised four days of this heaven, so my human mommy and I decided to celebrate each day with a different walk in a different park. We started  the week off by staying close to home and visiting BREC Goodwood Park, which is my neighborhood park. It’s a relatively short walk from my house (in fact, the walking path that goes in front of my house leads directly to the park), but lately it’s just been too hot to visit. Not Monday morning.

Goodwood park tree thek9harperlee

As we walked through the park, we noticed our first honest to goodness fall tree. I have to admit that from a distance we thought that our grueling summer heat had killed the poor little tree and that it was covered with dead leaves; but when we got closer we realized that we were actually seeing beautiful fall foliage. Magical.

Goodwood park playground thek9harperlee

And, because no trip to the neighborhood park is complete without a little fun time on the playground equipment, I took a moment to climb up and down the steps (carefully staying far away from the slide because I am not a fan of slides) before heading home.

Park garden 2 thek9harperlee

The next morning, Mommy had to do some silly human things, so Tuesday’s park walk was delayed until the afternoon. This time we got into my chariot and headed to BREC Independence Community Park, which is just a few miles from my house.

Cone flower thek9harperlee

The centerpiece of this park is the Botanic Garden. I have to tell you that I think Mommy might have spent more time sniffing than I did.

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It was a little warm by the afternoon, so we cut our walk short . . .

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. . . but only after I spent a little time climbing on the playground equipment.

City park fountain thek9harperlee

On Wednesday morning, we ventured a little farther to BREC City-Brooks Community Park. We spent some time walking around the park’s central facilities–including an art gallery, tennis center, and labyrinth–before heading out on the walking path that surrounds the golf course.

City park ducks thek9harperlee

Along the way, we spotted these ducks who were enjoying the shade of a big Cyprus tree. After our walk, we watched some ladies playing tennis (Why don’t they catch the tennis balls in their mouths and run around like I do? Silly humans!), and then we headed home for nap time.

Dog park sign thek9harperlee

Leave it to Mommy to save the best for last: the BREC Burbank Soccer Complex . . . AND DOG PARK! Thursday morning greeted us with dense fog, but a little fog wasn’t going to stop us because the temperatures were still cool . . . AND WE WERE GOING TO THE DOG PARK! This was my first visit to a dog park, and Mommy and I were pretty excited. Can you tell? We met so many nice dogs and so many nice people (of course the people were nice; they were dog people). The picture above was taken as we left the dog park. Do I look like I had a good time? I did!

Dog park water 1 thek9harperlee

Please pardon the butt shot, but I just had to show you my first water experience. I know, I know. I’m a four-and-a-half-year-old Golden Retriever and I had never ever been in water. Pitiful. I was a little hesitant at first, but Bo showed me the ropes . . .

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. . . and just like that I became a water dog. Once I got the hang of it, it was hard to keep me out of the little pond.

Dog park path thek9harperlee

We ended our dog park visit with perimeter walk in hopes that I would dry off a bit, but I just decided to play chase with the other dogs and roll around in sand.

Post park bath thek9harperlee

That’s why I leave you with this picture of me in all my post-dog-park-bath glory. I hope you’ve had at least half the week I had, and that a wonderful weekend awaits you.

A Walk in the Park

A Walk 1 thek9harperlee

The weather humans are predicting spring showers for the next two days (technically, they are using words like “thunderstorms” and “heavy rain,” but “spring showers” just sounds so much nicer), so my human mommy and I decided to enjoy the afternoon at the BREC Independence Community Park Botanic Garden. When we were at the park in early December, we were treated to the beautiful blossoms in the rose garden. This time, we were greeted by petunias, snapdragons, and the fuzzy red flowers of a bottlebrush tree. Spring is in the air!

A Walk 5 thek9harperlee

Currently, the iris beds are just beginning to offer the most magnificent show in the garden. There are irises as far as the eye can see and more varieties than I ever imagined. (My own garden only has three varieties of iris, so it’s not too hard to dazzle me, but the BREC Botanic Garden really does have a wonderful display.)

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Many of the plants are taller than I am, and they are filled with beautiful blossoms and buds.

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We turned down one path and came upon this little sign . . .

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 . . . which made us think about Spike and what a wonderful companion he must have been. We imagined a day, perhaps several seasons ago, when Spike was at his human’s side tending the beautiful bed so that one day we could come along and enjoy it.

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It seemed very fitting that this gorgeous white iris was the next flower we encountered.

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As we finished our tour, we took one last look at the lovely gardens. With storms approaching, this view of the pansies, dianthus, and mint will have to hold us until the weekend.