Monday, April 2, 2012

A Little Bit of Spring Color Here and a Little Bit of Spring Color There

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I really wasn't sure how yesterday was going to turn out.  It started out chilly and cloudy and I was depressed thinking about all the things I wanted to do if only the weather would cooperate.

Madi had such a good time Saturday afternoon that she was ready to go doing something fun on Sunday too, so she got me thinking about just what could we do.  I boiled some hot dogs and packed a picnic somehow without the kids seeing and set off in the car with them to find a nice picnic spot.  I decided on Crowder Park which has a very nice playground that's usually full of kids  If we show up at a playground that's empty the kids never seem to enjoy it as much as if they get to run with the pack of other kids at the park.

We picked one of the smaller mini playgrounds for our lunch area and then walked around the pond on our way to the big playground.  This was also a great strategy for getting the kids to do the walk around the pond with me...not their favorite part of the park.

The kids loved the hot dog idea, thought it was hilarious that this squirrel tried to join our picnic several times, and were thrilled to find tent caterpillars to carry around.  I enjoyed the azaleas and hearing frogs and taking my first dragonfly picture of the year.  The kids met up with a boy Madi's age on the big playground, and they were acting out scenes from Star Wars.  It was a good time.

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I think this might be the nicest shots I got of the three kids together all day.

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Since the day was going pretty good, and the sun had come up, I decided to make the trek over to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens.  Now I've been here before with the kids, and when I told them we were going they weren't too thrilled.  See if you think they had fun or not.  Sure seem like it to me!


It ended up being the perfect time to go to the gardens in my opinion.  Azaleas, dogwoods, camellias, tulips and much more all in bloom!

Now the collage below is for all you photographers and parents out there that have ever tried to take a great picture of more than one kid at a time.  What a comedy of errors this one was!

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Part of the problem was that the center of the big cement dogwood flower was slippery.  Add in childhood humor, rabbit ears, and everyone wanting to be in the middle all at once, and well, I didn't ever get quite the shot that I wanted.  This one was the best.

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I had pretty good success at just taking portraits of Madi by herself, though.  I'm always impressed at how well she's able to naturally move and pose for the camera.

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I got this one really super cute picture of Johnny too!

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Here's a collage of the best flower shots I took at Duke Gardens.  I didn't really have the light that I wanted and I know I didn't get a shot as good as the one I use for my Facebook timeline photo, but I still enjoyed seeing the tulips and taking the pics.

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I so much wanted to have a great tulip shot yet I came away with other flowers/pictures that were better.  This garden with the red and white combo of iris and tulip was my favorite.

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I posted my second favorite as my daily.  Purple iris with an orange flower background.  The blue yellow combo and purple and white combo were also lovely!

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