Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sparky Gets Out of Town!

Sparky went to visit her daughter in Washington, DC. Actually, Kelly lives outside of DC, so Sparky learned how to get around on the Metro with her daughter to visit some great locations in D.C. We had lots of fun, and did a lot of stuff in four days….Ate a lot, walked a LOT, and it was just absolutely wonderful! The cherry blossoms are still blooming. Sparky even lost two pounds walking up and down the hills of Arlington and D.C..The architecture of the Capitol is AMAZING! It's so cool to walk around knowing you are in the heart of the nation's government, gazing up at these buildings and thinking about what is going on (or NOT!) as laws are being made, judicial decisions coming down the pike affecting and shaping our future, lobbyists pressing for their causes.

First, we went to the national botanical gardens. Being that real estate is at a premium in DC, the botanical gardens are small in comparison to many other botanical gardens Sparky has visited. As a matter of fact, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, FL, blows away the national gardens as far as size and attractiveness. But the national gardens were still beautiful, if compact. The central foyer was decorated with a "symphony" of orchids… There were many varieties of orchids displayed everywhere in the main atrium.

Some varieties of flowering plants in the main atrium were designed in the shapes of musical instruments--a violin and a harp, and a French horn.

 Beautiful symphony music was playing orchestrated with a water fountain of changing multi colors….The orchids were just gorgeous!

Sparky saw an orchid with her name on it! But it wasn't her favorite….Nice name, eh? :-)

Sparky took a photo of Kelly at the gardens that has since become one of her favorites of her daughter.
There are other wonderful parts to the gardens, too, besides the entry atrium. There was a medicinal gardens portion that was quite interesting to read about. Sparky also enjoyed the endangered/rare plants species section of the gardens. She learned that the Florida yew  is one of the rarest trees in the world. You can only find it along a 15 mile section on one side of the Apalachicola River in the Liberty and Gadsden counties of Florida in forested bluffs and ravines. A lot of the yews are on private land and not protected because endangered species laws are not applicable to private landowners.  The bark of the yew has taxol, a cancer fighting compound that is used in fighting breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and kidney diseases. (Taxol is also found in the Pacific yew.)

The plants and their lines of symmetry are always fascinating to Sparky.
A type of fuchsia
Sparky loves ferns
And sometimes, there are just very unusual plants that command the photographer's lens….Sparky has no idea what kind of plant this is, but it was cool!

We spent a couple of hours wandering around, enjoying the beauty and the music of the garden--Handel, Vivaldi, Mozart….

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the gardens today…..Next time, it's Arlington Cemetery!


  1. Too much fun with your daughter, and excellent pictures of both you and her.

  2. What beautiful pictures of you and Kelly. Wish I'd known you were here. We have been just east of you for 2 weeks now. Would love to have had you come out to the farm. My Carrie lives in the Maryland part of greater DC. What fun it looks like you two had. Don't you just really love those mother/daughter times??

  3. Looks like a fun time. I worked in DC for three years, we called it the puzzle palace, so it is nice to see it from afar:)

  4. I would love to use your photo of the topiary harp for some promo material (flier and website (ehcmemphis.com)) for a music therapist who is joining our small practice. Would you email me to talk about it? Ellen: staff@ehcmemphis.com