I think he tricked us, really. Or maybe he was as tired of being stuck in class as the rest of us. Either way, instead of going to our Chemistry class on Thursday, we went to the Botanical Gardens in Clemson. Possibly it was a practical joke, because it caused half of us to lose our good parking places, and find new ones at lunchtime. Not a pleasant endeavor.
But on Tuesday, my professor told us to meet him at the Gardens, near the “red wagon” (caboose). Since my first class was at 8 o’clock, I got a latte, and showed up over an hour early. I was hoping to get some nice pictures of the flowers, before the rest of the group arrived. When the first of my classmates arrived, we debated whether we would be talking about global climate change, which was our new chapter in our Chemistry in Context class. Would we be told to look around the garden, and imagine that in twenty years, it would look like the surface of Venus? He showed us a picture of Venus, in a slideshow, on Tuesday, while telling us about the horrors of global warming. You know, the atmosphere of complete carbon dioxide and sulfuric acid rain (or some kind of acid), which maybe my grandchildren can look forward to. : )
Anyway, my professor arrived and noticed that most of us had backpacks, but promptly said we didn’t need them. We were just going to be walking around. And walk around, we did. I started at the front of the pack (there must have been at least 30 of us there, a third of the class), and listened in on a discussion about tarantulas.
When we reached the duck pond, everybody stopped to look at a turtle swimming around, while half of us had funny smiles on our faces… as if we were all wondering what we were doing here. The ducks were on the other side of the pond, and they wouldn’t have been interested in us, anyway, because no one thought to bring any bread.
We hiked up to the butterfly garden, and I got behind the group to take some more floral photos, and kept having to run to catch up. It reminded me of elementary school field trips, with a teacher in the lead, a children trailing behind, wondering what was going on.
Once we reached Hanover House, which I had never been far into the Gardens enough to see, we were stopped short of getting a good view, and got a history lesson on Thomas Green Clemson, instead. Then we were marched off again, so here’s what little I looked up about Hanover House, though I didn’t get close enough to get a picture of the house. It was a house built by French Huguenots in the Low Country of South Carolina, but when they planned to fill Lake Moultrie, it would have been put underwater. So, they moved it to Clemson.
One of these days, I need to go visit and see it, and really hear some of the history. There’s supposed to be another historic house, somewhere on the Gardens grounds, but I’ve never been out of the Caboose and Duck Pond sections, even though I’ve lived here for my whole life. Pitiful, I know.
We hiked over some more back trails of the Gardens, and then made our way back to the Caboose and the Bell. Once we reached the Bell, I heard my prof say something about the last Ice Age occurring 20,000 years ago (“fairly recently”). So, I have no idea if that was to remind us we were in our Chemistry in Context class, or if they were actually discussing the Ice Age at the front of the pack.
After saying farewell to us, all the students that had walked to the Gardens piled into their friends’ cars. Yes, in order to deal with the parking problem, quite a few of them walked, at the prof’s suggestion. It was a lot farther than they thought, though, so they were hot, sweaty, thirsty, and covered in wet grass, from crossing fields.
I felt for them, though, because I wouldn’t have wanted to walk it. I drove one student back to the Shoeboxes, and then went home to get my brother to drop me off at the library. But we had a phone mix-up, or something, so I got to experience the long walk, too. While calling constantly, I walked all the way from the Cooper library to the fire station, which is right across from the Botanical Gardens. Oh well, it happens. At least I didn’t have to walk the rest of the way home.
I hope you enjoy the flower photos. I was experimenting with having changed my camera focus from Auto Area AF to Single Area AF. After my last post about different focuses on my camera, a friend gave me some advice, so I’ve been trying it. I did have to do some web-searching to locate the right buttons on my camera.
One button that takes me to the right page to change the focus… I haven’t known what it was for, not since before I was in Australia. When I was in Sydney, I wore lots of sunscreen, every day, and it was always on my hands. Since that button was at the bottom of the camera, it got accidentally handled the most, and the sunscreen helped rub off the symbol.