patience makes red seeds…

The magnolia seeds are popping from their cones. When I finally noticed this, I had to remember to put my camera in my backpack, on a day when I would have time to take a few pictures. Well, that’s unless I wanted to go back in to school on the weekend. I’d rather not, thanks.DSC_0938

Some of the cones had released their seeds some time ago, leaving the brown, dried out hull on the branch. Some branches were completely bare of any sign of cones, so I knew the cones had already fallen to the ground. If you remember those weeks when I was stalking the magnolia flowers, I assure you that I know where some of the flowers were located.  : )DSC_0935

DSC_0950As I was in the middle of the process of getting my major changed (finally), I took a few pictures near Hunter Hall, but then hiked up to Edwards Hall. I’m glad I did, because the magnolia cones weren’t plentiful by Hunter, but I found some just loaded with red seeds, when I walked past Rhodes. You see, those red seeds are a favorite food to squirrels and birds, so there’s only a short time period when you’ll find them. DSC_0942

Do you know how long it takes a Southern Magnolia to be grown from the seeds? I think they can be grown from cuttings, too, but think of the patience it takes, waiting for the seeds to sprout, if you choose that route! Fifteen years to break through the ground, possibly? If the squirrels don’t get to them, first.DSC_0947

From there, I kept walking past the library and up to Edwards, peering at any passing Southern Magnolia tree, and wondering why some of them had shed their seeds already. After that, I was able to successfully get the final signatures on my paper to change my major, after running back and forth between buildings for the last week or two.

DSC_0948Walking out of Edwards Hall had a surreal feeling, because their first floor lobby has a painting of R. C. Edwards, whom the building was named for. Since my junior high school was named for him, I had seen a copy of that painting, many times, during my teen years. But walking past it, twenty years later, gave me a really strange feeling.  I was still in college, right?DSC_0952

And if you’re wondering about my major change, don’t worry. I’m still a history major. Technically, I’ve been one since I started school this fall, but OFFICIALLY, I was still in the books as a PRTM major from back when I was 18. Don’t ask. It was a major that sounded sort of interesting, at the time, and I thought that I HAD to declare something. But all these years later, it was still in the books. DSC_0946

Soon, I’ll be able to consult with my actual advisor in the history department, and then figure out what classes I’ll be taking next semester. My goal is to have only 15 credits in the spring, and maybe have a leisure course or two included. I could use a breather.DSC_0953

fleeting friday…

DSC_0506I liked this photo, but it just never seemed to go with all my flower posts. And recently, I’ve been too busy to go out with my camera. : ) I need to go look at the magnolia “fruit” again, and see if the red seeds are popping out yet.

the chemistry of flowers…

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.DSC_0742

DSC_0744But 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.DSC_0746 DSC_0749When 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.  : )DSC_0754

DSC_0755Anyway, 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.DSC_0756

DSC_0758When 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.DSC_0759

DSC_0763We 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.DSC_0765

DSC_0766Once 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.DSC_0767

DSC_0769One 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.DSC_0785

DSC_0793We 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.DSC_0794

DSC_0799After 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.DSC_0805

DSC_0807I 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.DSC_0808

DSC_0813I 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.DSC_0814

DSC_0819One 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.DSC_0827

DSC_0828Anyway, still playing around with both the pictures and the camera. I hope you enjoy the flowers and my day.DSC_0842DSC_0841

everyday pieces…

Just a few pics from the last weeks. I have been out to look at the local plant life, and I keep watching the magnolias for the fruit to “pop” and the red seeds to come out. In the process, I found a wasp’s nest, and had to get the building’s maintenance to take care of it. No, I didn’t get stung, I only SAW it… 2-3 feet above my head. DSC_0567 DSC_0575 DSC_0580

Other pics are from wandering around campus one afternoon. Oh, the sculpture and sign pics were taken on 9-11, after viewing the flag memorial. I enjoyed playing with the photo overlay and colors, and messing with the Fluor-Daniel sign was especially fun. DSC_0587DSC_0593And I still love that sculpture, and the reflections on the windows are beautiful.DSC_0589

the happiness of butterflies…

Who wouldn’t be happy, on a sunshine-y day like this, with the brightness of these colors? I have no actual pictures of the butterflies that visit this butterfly bush, but let me assure you that they flock and frolic around the pink and yellow blooms. But they also run away, in a tizzy, whenever I come close. Well, the little ones do, at least.DSC_0466

DSC_0467I arrived back from school at lunchtime and knew I could have no better lighting than that glorious sunshine. Then, I almost got sidetracked by doing something on my computer, before remembering I had come downstairs for my camera. Some clouds had gathered, but they wandered away by the time I was in the grass of our front yard.DSC_0468

DSC_0471DSC_0480If you’ve never seen the blooms of a butterfly bush, they’re obviously a LOT smaller than they look in these pictures. But their colors are delightful, and I always wonder how they “know” to have yellow and pink blossoms, when other bushes of this type have all purple blooms. DSC_0478

DSC_0479No colors were adjusted before the posting of these pictures. Those splashes of color are all the work of God’s creation, the brilliant sunshine highlighting the “plumage” of the plants.DSC_0484DSC_0481

who gives a fig?

Over the last few weeks, I would glance out the window, and wonder what was so fascinating about those bushes next to Riggs Hall. Then, one day, I spotted someone picking fruit from them. As I happened to be talking to my mom, at the time, she suggested they were probably picking figs.DSC_0829

DSC_0830I think every Sunday School student wonders how Adam and Eve could possibly have even attempted to sew clothes out of fig leaves, because we immediately think of leaves that are the size of what we know… maple or oak leaves. A child’s opinion of the first man and woman goes down even further, when they think of how silly they were to even attempt to sew small leaves together. But since I never knew how big fig leaves actually WERE, then every kid needs an update to that lesson. Still not big enough to cover their sin, of course…DSC_0831

DSC_0836Anyway, I finally went closer, to see what everyone was looking for in those bushes (trees?). They look like overgrown bushes, but “fig bush” doesn’t sound right. Many of the figs were still unripe, and the ripe ones had mostly been picked over. But as I walked down the hill towards my car, I realized that Fernow has two more fig trees on the other side. What is it with planting fruit around there? There are blueberry bushes next to the building, too.DSC_0837

DSC_0845So, I picked one off the tree to examine, and then broke it open to take a look. Yes, I have eaten fresh figs, but it’s been a long time. However, I was more concerned with taking enough pictures so that I could google “figs” when I got home, and see whether people were going to poison themselves, or whether the fruit was actually edible.DSC_0858

DSC_0859After looking at my pictures of the open fig, you might reconsider eating them. Ok, reconsider squashing them before eating. It does look like the innards of some strange creature, instead of a fruit.  : )DSC_0861

DSC_0863Since I first took these pictures, I’ve seen many more people outside of the cafe, picking figs into boxes or bags, and had some grad students asking about the fruit. I don’t know if I’m really helpful, because I had to clamp down on some of my real thoughts on the subject. Such as, do you really want to eat fruit that sits right next to the road, where a garbage truck goes by, every week, and car fumes douse them? I know, I’m so helpful, aren’t I?DSC_0864

DSC_0866Probably the same reason I never touched the blueberries, but left them for the birds. However, since my family’s been picking buckets and buckets of berries from The Happy Berry, in Six Mile, who needs the berries from some scrawny bushes on campus?DSC_0867

DSC_0868Most of the fruit still isn’t ripe, on the trees closest to Freeman Hall, so if I were to try eating any figs, I’d go for those, because they’re some distance from the road (and the garbage trucks). So, I expect to find more people outside picking fruit, during my last week at Fernow. So, I really hope everyone enjoys them. DSC_0871

But I do wonder, WHY did they plant so much fruit outside of this building? It’s not like the fig trees are really pretty plants. Maybe they were “planted” by the birds, and then left there by the landscaping crew? I’ll never know.DSC_0872

the flowers play peek-a-boo…

Lots of decorative border grasses seem to grow little flowers, so it is difficult for me to identify these. Suffice it to say, they’re small and charming, and hard to see, unless you’re really looking for them.DSC_0839

DSC_0840DSC_0843Their colors seem to cover a spectrum of white and pink and purple pastels. At least one photo shows what most people see when they’re walking by… nothing but grass. Or what they see, when they’re on the other side of the road. Oh, wait, they don’t even notice the grass, if they’re that far away.  : )DSC_0841

DSC_0844DSC_0846They’re tiny purple-pink-and-white charmers, wouldn’t you say?DSC_0848 DSC_0849 DSC_0850

I’ve seen these little floral peek-a-boos hiding all over campus, but until the tree fell on Bowman, I haven’t had my camera out, recently. While I still regret missing out on the photo opportunity of a century (WHY couldn’t someone have told me about that tree?), I’ll try and console myself by looking for the little stuff, once more.DSC_0856

DSC_0857Update: I have been reliably informed that this is monkey grass, which still borders part of our driveway. I don’t recall our own monkey grass ever looking this pretty.

i’ll be your clinging vine…

It’s fascinating, how they climb that wall… don’t you think so? So fragile looking, yet strong enough to cling to that wall. DSC_0061

DSC_0062And as you can see, I continue to look for the beauty in the everyday.  DSC_0063 DSC_0065 DSC_0067 DSC_0071 DSC_0076