Saturday, March 10, 2018

Kew, after all!

Despite a hair appointment this morning, I decided I just had to pay one last trip to Kew before the Orchids display and Life in Death finish tomorrow...So I caught a train just after mid-day (having missed one by about a minute!) and set off... arriving at the time I'd normally be leaving..

It was threatening rain but was mild - so different to last weekend!
So  for the final time, set back and enjoy some orchids for the last time this year, and a final visit to Life in Death - and some signs of Spring (hurrah!!)

 there was a crowd outside and heading into, the POW for the orchids, my first destination
 I decided to go a different way round the areas of the glasshouse... all of them were packed so I had to be patient (not very!)  to get my "turn"...
these dark black-purple ones are still some of my favourites!

 from the top of some steps..

 little stream..
 stunning white rhododendrons acting as backdrop in the cool orchid zone..

 I had the long zoom on but in close up mode to try and get far away blooms

 I think some of the blooms might have gone over and been removed from this pillar, I am sure there were more flowers originally. 

taking this people's heads kept getting in the way, today made me realise how right I am to always get there at opening time!!

 the ricefield in front of..

it was hard to get decent shots of the arches due to the number of people, but I have shown them before (well I've shown all of this before but...)

 couldn't cut everyone out!
from the top of the steps, great reflections of the roof in the pool

 just look at the crowds!
 these were on a pillar to the left of the steps on the way down

 peering through fern leaves
finally got to the front!

 the steps I'd just walked down still packed
 close up of the orchids at the "palace"
 reflections in the pool
 from the side.  I didn't do what some visitors were doing, and step onto the flower bed to get closer.  Just muttered loudly under my breath!
 the water dragon looking a little sorry for himself now! he's ok from this side though.

 making for the outdoors through the cactus desert area...
 this is the girl who makes it all happen.  The lovely Eli..

outside, it was thinking about trying to rain but luckily held off (mostly)
I went in search of spring colour...

 the 'back door' with the lanterns inside visible all the way through
 walking through the woodland area
 love this big tree trunk
 after last week's snow and ice, it has been much milder and the daffodils are bursting into flower all over...

 no icicles today...

ultra wide view for a change

 as Wordsworth would say, " a host of golden daffodils"....

close up of raindrops

 there were hellebore everywhere
 and crocus... no danger of being trampled underfoot in the snow today
 it was too muddy to kneel down, so I had to do lots of  'blind shooting' down low...

drifts in the grass..

and under trees

 lichen covered bench..
 not sure if it's the same one I saw last week (there are lots of benches!)
 but the sun came out (fairly briefly!)

 so I did some "don't shoot into the sun" shots!
the Temperate House lit up by sun

 a big patch of blue and a big loud plane!  they were flying very low today.
 next, into Life in Death - again, the final weekend, so there was a queue to get in!! 

I am REALLY going to miss this exhibit.  I took loads more photos, even though you've seen them all before..  but different angles, different close ups...

I did notice lots of gaps on the wires were blooms have fallen off. over the months of the exhibit. 

 shadows and petals on the floor..

 LOVE this shot! 

 I think the red corner is my favourite!

 crouching down in the red corner doorway

I reluctantly tore myself away.....

 outside seemed grey (it was!)  in contrast

 love this base of a tree, it looks like a giant foot of some big animal...
 tiny blue flowers
 lots of them!

 I was trying to get a close up in focus of these pretty yellow flowers...

 but the camera got confused!  looks like someone's thrown yellow paint at the lens!

 more hellebore...

 again, too muddy to kneel down like I would have done to get decent shots...

 was amazed to find a prunus (flowering cherry) already doing just that - mind you it was only one!

big black clouds through this massive tree.

 I walked past the Palm House pond again, someone was throwing bread to the ducks, but the gulls were swooping in

they move fast!

 this one is for Tasha, who I work with who  is new to my blog and the Hive...
 these clouds were spitting rain at me, so I decided it was time to head for the exit
 pine tree
 more daffodils (I was heading for another restaurant in case there was a shorter queue to get a drink and cake before going home.... no chance!)

 on my way to the exit, I noticed two green parakeets flying into this huge tree... there were several couples, sitting on different branches...

as I watched, the one on the right
 popped into this hole - obviously they have a nest... I hung around for a little, but she/he didn't emerge and the partner sat outside on the branch.

this cloud did drop some rain on me but not much, but I left for home just in case!

I am so glad I went back for one last visit especially to the Life in Death gallery.  As I said, I will really miss it! 
having said that, they will have something else in it's place before long.... but I don't know what!

I hope you've enjoyed the visit, too. 


Angela Curror said...

Fabulous photos Helen - I love all those orchids, and the Life in Death photo that you said you liked best is my favourite too.

craftimamma said...

Lovely unexpected treat of beautiful photos today Helen and I'm sure you must be glad you went. Well done for being patient with those pesky afternoon visitors getting in the way of your lens, lol!

The orchids still look beautiful and I love the pic after the one of Bruno with the red leaves and creamy white orchids over the arch and as you say, the white rhododendron is just stunning.

The Life in Death installation still looks fabulous too with lots of colour left and the red corner is my favourite too I think. The whole place always looks as though it is gilded to me.

One of my favourites for today is the pic of the trees right before the one of the plane. Love the effect you got on that one and the shapes of the trees. Another favourite is the lovely little blue flowers which I think might be gentians?

I think the hole in the tree where the parakeets have nested looks like a heart from the angle of your shot....Home is where the heart is, lol! and in the last daffodil photo there are some twigs with brown balls on them hanging from something out of shot......any idea what they are? Dead 'flowers' or maybe seed pods?

As I said at the beginning, a lovely unexpected treat and I'm glad you went for our sakes, lol! Don't blame you for leaving when you did though with those very ominous black clouds.

Lesley Xx

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I was so glad to see the final orchids and Life in Death photos before they leave Kew. You were brave getting very few people in your photos. I also hate it when people walk right in front of me when I'm trying to get a photo, but they don't seem to care if they mess up your shot or not. Yes, I can see why going early has its advantages.

Somehow that palace looks even more loaded with orchid than before. And yes, the crowds were really out to see the orchids, that's for sure. Bruno was starting to show his age, or at least it looked like it to me. Even the dragon is looking a bit ragged, even from his "good" side.

I enjoyed seeing the fountain in wide angle and showing the entire POW house and pond. I also enjoyed the sun shots, too.

It's amazing how much the Life in Death exhibit has changed over the past several months. It truly did represent life and death, too. I know you are going to miss this exhibit, but the photos you took are simply stunning, even with all the people in the exhibit.

I loved the yellow "paint" shot where the field of view was all confused. It made for a great shot of depth of field.

Great shot of the parakeets. I was so surprised they live in the wild like that. I hope the babies make it. I bet you'll be back to check on them, too.

Those were some really scary clouds, so it was a good time to leave, I'm sure. Thanks for sharing your day at Kew with us again.