Missouri Botanical Gardens – 2018 Spring Azaleas 2018

May 10, 2018

More spring 2018 at the Missouri Botanical Gardens!  The azaleas were in their glorious  peak, along with many other  plants a-blooming.

Iris are blooming….


this is the beginning of  …


azaleas up close and personal ….

mystery plant but i love it!

snap dragons….

azaleas in the Japanese garden…..

the peonies were just staring to bloom…

remember to also visit the turtles…

and feed the koi…..



” Every flower that  ever bloomed had to go through a whole  lot of dirt to get there”   (unknown)

Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!





A WINDMILL AND A PADDLEWHEEL – Parting Shots from Holland, MI

May 6, 2018

While in Holland, MI, it is required you see at least one windmill.  This  one is called ,  De Zwaan, meaning swan or graceful bird in Dutch, and it  is the only authentic, working Dutch windmill in the United States.   It was built in 1761 and is  the last windmill to leave the Netherlands.  Home now is Windmill Island Gardens in Holland, Michigan.   The windmill  went from Vinkel in the province of Noord Brabant (Netherlands)  in 1964 by boat into the Muskegon Harbor ( Michigan)  and then by truck into Holland.   In preparation for the arrival,  three floors of brick  had to be laid so  the windmill could be raised high enough to collect the amount of wind needed.   It was heavily damaged ( including  bullet holes from WWII )  when  purchased and the price was  $2800.   It  took 6 months to  reconstruct it at the Gardens.

Big Red Lighthouse  is located in  Holland State Park  and sits at the channel of Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa.   It was built in 1907 and the light can be seen for 20 miles.

The Star of Saugatauk was an enjoyable 90 minute  ride down the Kalamazoo River out  to the edge of Lake Michigan.  It was a  relaxing ride   listening to the sound of the paddlewheel and seeing the lake side homes and the dunes.

This home in particular  was my favorite.  There is an underground  tunnel built between the structures.

These 3 additional  sights fascinated  me……..

Gotta love the colors!

An interesting octagon-shaped house – I would have  loved to  see the inside and how they placed the furniture!  : )

Lastly – the home of a true “birder”.   : )

Hope you enjoyed and remember as you travel through life …..

“Don’t forget that maybe that you are the lighthouse in someone’s storm”   (unknown)

Thanks for reading!





VELDHEER’S TULIP FARM, Holland, Michigan

May 4, 2018

Another stop on my  Tulip Festival trip was Veldheer’s  Tulip Farm and it was beautiful!!! See what you think…..


They are very serious about their tulips.

Can you imagine????

They also made wooden shoes with this machine.

The fitting room.

Also, they made (from molds) and hand painted Delftware.   This beautiful piece was tempting but at a price of  $150.00 I refrained.

Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!


May 5, 2018

While visiting the Tulip Festival in Holland, Michigan,  an attraction that was high on my list  to see was Nelis’ Dutch Village.  Simply put –  I loved it!

There were lots of blooming tulips, of course….

along with a  Dutch village  atmosphere complete with canals….


and wooden shoes…..

lots of wooden shoes…


more canals….

rides for the kiddos…

a playground, complete with a wooden shoe house playhouse and slide….

a petting zoo…

with ingenious  ways of feeding their baby lambs…

and grown up sheep also….

If you look closely underneath the trough, you will see baby ducklings.  Mama duck laid and  hatched her eggs in the straw there and the new  family  have made themselves right at home with the sheep.

All of nature was a bloom….

in all directions……



“Bread feeds the body, but flowers feed also the soul”  (unknown)

Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!

TULIP FESTIVAL, Holland, Michigan 2018

May 4, 2018

Prepare for tulip overload as I retrace my favorite  steps  from the 2018 Tulip Festival in Holland Michigan.  Holland  was  settled  by  Dutch immigrants  in  1847 and today  it is a beautiful, unbelievably clean town that was fun to visit and explore.

These are Blue Grape Hyacinths, smaller then the more common hyacinths but every bit as pretty.  I found these in plentiful supply along with the tulips and feel in love with them .

The breeze was picking up and the tulips danced.

Bird of the day – the red-winged blackbird.

This being my first visit, I soon  realized  that  Michigan  has a  lot of marsh land.  Huge areas of  marsh grass are  dead and dried up in heaps from the winter now, but there are  small signs of regrowth.  These dead  heaps, however,  are  alive with bird activity and entertainment, especially from the red-winged blackbird and the purple martins.

Another part of nature I enjoy are interesting looking trees, or  more so in this case, creepy looking trees.

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. ”   by John Muir

Hope you enjoyed!  Thanks for reading!






May 3, 2018

Right on time, the Baltimore Orioles   pass through Missouri and, if you tempt them with an ( orange) oriole feeder and some grape jelly, they may just visit your feeder – again and again and again.    I saw this pair today too many times to count.  I actually had to go outside and refill the grape jellies!   The  most vivid colors belong to the male, the other is the female.


Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!

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