A couple of weeks ago a few friends took me to the botanical gardens here in Wuhan to celebrate the coming of spring, but since I took almost 800 photos I had to delay this post. Do you know how long it takes to look through 800 photos, let alone to choose a few?
But alas, it is here. Meet my noble comrades:
This was my first time meeting the two guys on the left. The one on the right is named Tao.
He was one of my students when I taught English here two years ago. We have since become very good friends.
I had never before been to a botanical garden, so I didn't know what to expect. We entered through a massive greenhouse. In fact, it was so big that I thought that was the garden. It even had a waterfall inside. And there were many interesting flowers.
But I had no idea what I was in for. What followed was reminiscent of the scene from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when they all enter through that really small door and walk into the candy garden with the chocolate waterfall for the first time. All that was missing was the music. There were steps leading down into the garden outside, and I actually considered doing the Willie Wonka thing -- take a few steps down then one back up then a few more down and a couple back up.
It's hard to overstate how huge this place was. Very few places were "garden-like." Instead, it was like a series of environments. Each environment was a huge park of sorts.
Unfortunately, I took almost zero pictures of these environments as a whole. I can't believe it. I focused more on individual flowers, etc. Here is one, though, to give you a small taste.
There were heavily forested areas, wide-open grassy areas, ponds, lakes -- it was really breathtaking. And even though it looks like there were a lot of people there, this place was so big that many areas had no one.
I just wanted to sit on the grass and...sit. I'm sure I could have sat in one place for the entire day. It was so peaceful.
And the flowers were beautiful, too.
Unfortunately, I don't know much about flowers. My mom is a gardener, so she probably knows what I'm looking at in these photos. But in some respects I'm glad I was clueless. It made this experience that much more new to me.
By the time I left, I was convinced that any flower I could dream up exists somewhere on earth.
You can almost hear the birds chirping, can't you?
They even had a medicine garden filled with plants used for traditional Chinese medicine.
If I ever get sick I'm coming here -- not because they have medicinal plants but because I think it's nearly impossible to come here and not feel better.
They also had plenty of fields of flowers.
...and some really tall trees...
They had some areas with flowers that were more obviously arranged, as well.
I've never taken so many pictures at one time. I've got stockpiles of flower pictures now. Unfortunately, they don't do this place justice.
I enjoyed it so much that I plan on going back there again. At first I decided that I won't bring my camera the second time I go.
But after thinking about it more, I'm sure I will. It's such a fun place to take pictures.
And, better yet, even if you know almost nothing about photography your pictures will undoubtedly look good.