Wednesday afternoon it stopped raining. I was surprised by this because I’d been obsessively checking my weather apps for a break in the rain and my weather apps didn’t show anything but clouds and rain. And more rain. The Pacific Northwest has been getting hammered by rain storm after rain storm since the first of December.
Even though I hadn’t showered yet and my house was a mess and laundry needed to be done, I threw my hair in a ponytail, grabbed my camera bag and drove over to Flower World in Maltby. There were threatening clouds in several directions and I was just sure it would be raining again by the time I got there.
Instead, the sun came out. The sun, the beautiful, bright sun! I was so happy to see proof that it was still there! I picked my way through soggy ground and shot some pictures of the birds in Flower World’s pond area.
After getting frustrated by the birds, I went into the main greenhouse. This lead to another surprise: They had Christmas music playing and I liked it! I find most Christmas music annoying but this was wonderful. It was all instrumental. No George Michael, Mariah Carey or Taylor Swift. It was like Christmas music from heaven. I strolled around, looking at the poinsettias and wreaths while finally feeling a little Christmas spirit come over me. Even the frustration of realizing my camera battery was nearly dead didn’t ruin my mood. I still had my camera phone, limited though its capabilities are.
After taking some shots of poinsettias, which I will subject you to in another post, I wandered outside to the shrub greenhouses and the small pond area. Out there, I received the most pleasant surprise of the day. I saw a flash of black and white feathers fly by and I followed it into the trees. I just about dropped my camera when I saw this red head peeking up over a tree trunk.
It was a red-breasted sapsucker! Although they live here year round, I rarely see them (about once every 3-5 years). I worked my way around the tree, shooting as fast as I could, knowing that I only had seconds before the sapsucker flew away or my camera battery died. I wish I had taken a second to crank up the ISO first, because it was dark enough that my camera went to a very slow shutter speed and I didn’t get crisp images.
Cropping in just accentuates the blur from shooting at 1/25th of a second without a tripod. Still, I’m happy to have the red-breasted sapsucker as a member of my photo archive flock.
The last surprise was how lovely the greenhouses and trees looked with the sun setting behind them. I was captivated by this shadow of a tree on the greenhouse wall and ceiling but there was too much going on around it to frame it well.
I think I need to make a late afternoon trip to Flower World a regular thing during the holiday season. It’s too bad I couldn’t do all my shopping there but I doubt the boys would be happy getting shrubs for Christmas!