257: The After Party

Relaxing on the shore

Perhaps you’ve wondered what happens at the after party.  I thought I’d give you a glimpse of what happens after a party by the pond (even if it is a mini version and not The Official Party By the Pond).  Following our little impromptu picnic/party on Saturday, a number of rain storms moved through.  In between the raindrops and my little cool off in the rain, I went out for a little walk, taking the camera along, to see how the water might have prettied up everything.  (That’s an unofficial photography term:  prettied up.)

Grandmother Turtle

One of the first things I noticed before I had a chance to step foot off the deck and patio was a large creature making its way out of the pond and up the hill towards the wildflower meadow.  As M and I watched, it went into the meadow and eventually made its way out the other side, heading further up the hill.

Every year at least one large snapper leaves our pond.  I am not surprised when the young ones leave, as the pond can support a finite number of turtles (I’m not sure what that number is).  I do wonder about the old ones when they go.  Have they given up the fight and been chased out by a young one?  Or do they suddenly get a yen to go traveling, leaving the pond they have known to the young ones in order to seek out new adventures?

If turtle has shown up in your life, it is time to get connected to your most primal essence.  Go within your shell and come out when your ideas are ready to be expressed.  It is time to recognize that there is an abundance out there for you.  It doesn’t have to be gotten quickly and immediately.  Take your time and let the natural flow work for you.  Too much, too soon, can upset the balance.  Turtle reminds us that all we need for all that we do is available to us, if we approach it in the right manner and time.

Turtles remind us that the way to heaven is through the earth.  In Mother Earth is all that we need.  She will care for us, protect us, and nurture us, as long as we do the same for her.  For that to happen, we must slow down and heighten our sensibilities.  We must see the connection to all things.  Just as the turtle cannot separate itself from its shell, neither can we separate ourselves from what we do to the Earth.

~ Ted Andrews, Animal Speak

Someday I may get up the nerve to face the Grandmother or Grandfather Snapper as they make their way up the hill.  For now, because I’ve read about how they don’t like to feel cornered, I take my photos from behind.  It seems safer that way.

Robin on the brush pile

After cautiously and carefully visiting with Grandmother Turtle, I made my way over to the timothy grass meadow and the little section off to the left where the rhododendrons, peonies, and day lilies are sheltered, something they apparently all like as they are thriving.

After the rain

I apologize for the plethora of peonies.  It has become, for me, a symbol of Spring 2011.  A reminder of connections, of the feeling of oneness, of staying present.  It’s not easy to stay present.  The mind often wants to wander off into other spaces and other times.  The peony helps me bring my wandering mind back to the here and now.

And, really, they were so pretty covered in raindrops.  🙂

Waiting for the grand opening

Did you know the peony was named after Paeon, the physician to the gods?  It was one of those cases where someone was jealous (of Paeon) and to protect Paeon, Zeus turned him into a peony.  One has to wonder how all these mere mortals felt about being turned into flowers for various reasons.  A flower, I reckon, is not such a bad thing to be.

Weighed down by the rain and wind

There is a variation to that myth in which a wood nymph named Paeonia, well loved by the gods, was transformed into a blushing peony by a jealous Venus.


There always seems to be jealousy involved when it comes to the gods, doesn’t there?

Lamenting jealousy, in gods and men

In Chinese flower symbolism, the peony is said to be esteemed as one of the most beautiful of flowers.  It is a symbol of nobility and value, and earned the title “king of flowers” during the Sui and Tang dynasties.  Pictured fully open, it represents peace.

Walking through the meadow

I left the peonies after a while and wandered through the meadow.  That sounds much more idyllic than the reality.  It was warm, humid, hazy, and the mosquitoes were having a grand feast (that feast would be me).

The sun breaking out of the clouds

We had both sunlight and rain at the same time on numerous occasions that evening.  But no rainbow.  Strange.  There was so much beauty going on elsewhere, perhaps the rainbow decided this was not its day to shine.

Raindrop bokeh in the meadow grasses

The light was amazing.  To truly appreciate the rain and grass photos, you’re going to have to click on them to see the slightly larger version.

While they are not as pretty as a peony, these are actually some of my favorite shots of the After Party.  Mum Nature was hiding some of this beauty as it wasn’t until I crouched down that I noticed the light shining through the grasses, buttercups, and raindrops.


From there I walked over to the wisteria, but will save that for another day as it’s time to move on to today’s outdoor adventures.  We had quite a morning here in the Bogs.  We woke up to dark, cloudy skies and thunderstorm watches and warnings.  In fact, it was the weather radio alarm that caused us to wake up.

I had some errands to run this morning and found myself stalling in the grocery store, trying to wait out the storm that hit soon after I parked the car and went into the store.  The sky was incredible.  A wall of darkness moved from the north and west (heading south and east).  There have been very few times in life when I’ve seen it grow that dark during the daylight hours.  To make up for the darkness of the clouds, the lightning put on a bright show, followed by the usual booms of thunder.  The wind tore through the area.  I returned home to find some branches down, the deck furniture and umbrella toppled, and the pedal boat missing.  Given how heavy the pedal boat is, I could not imagine the wind picking it up and taking it somewhere.  I eventually found it shoved into the cattails at the back of the pond.

The storm took the flowers from the rhododendrons and flattened the peonies into the ground.  The peonies might bounce back.  The rhododendrons, on the other hand, are now finished for the season.

The storm also seems to have driven this little guy off course.  He was on the patio around lunch time, just sitting in the corner looking at the bricks as if unsure what to do.  He did turn around when I stepped out to take this photo, and eventually found his way off the patio.  Perhaps he’s looking for the old Grandmother Turtle, seeking advice or learning or adventures in a new pond.

31 Comments on “257: The After Party”

  1. Eden says:

    Love the one of the sun breaking out of the clouds 🙂

  2. carlaat says:

    You never fail to deliver a beautiful post, complete with meaningful quotes and tidbits and then such a plethora of photos including the daily peonies! Thank you, as always, for sharing.

  3. Anna Surface says:

    Wow! All such lovely photos and I really like the snapper. The peonies are gorgeous as well as the image of the sun breaking from the clouds. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Anna. This seems to be the year of the snapper around here. I’ve come to the conclusion that the turtles are trying to tell me something. 🙂

  4. That is such an interesting turtle–so different from our snappers here. Ours are red and very hump-backed. Love the new photography term: prettied-up! I shall add it to my vocabulary. The meadow photos are so lovely and delicate. You have so many things to photograph right in your own back yard.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Teresita. 🙂

      Would you believe I never realized just how many things there are to photograph until I started this commitment? It’s amazing what a difference it makes, getting outside every day.

  5. I could hang the first shot and the ones of the meadow grass on my bedroom wall and look at them for the rest of my life. They’re magnificent! Nature has so much beauty to share with us, it’s impossible not to feel happy :).

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, SunsetSeaSoul. That is so true, about Nature. 🙂

      I’m thinking about having a give-away soon (giving away a print of one of my photos), so maybe you’ll get the opportunity to hang one of those shots in your room.

  6. How sad to think of aging turtles being exiled from their home ponds–gosh–it makes me want to cry. However, your peonie photos are fabulous. I also really love the one of the sun coming through he clouds!

    • Robin says:

      I think it’s sad too, Kathy, so I prefer to think Grandmother Turtle decided it was time to go on an adventure and visit other ponds and talk with other turtles as well as share her knowledge along the way. 🙂

  7. Martina says:

    I enjoyed seeing the snapping turtles. I have to show my son those tomorrow. He loves them. Flowere are taking their beating from the rain eh? Not a good season here either. Nice photos.

  8. ladyfi says:

    Wow – that grandmother turtle is huge! She seems to wise somehow. And what magical golden photos of the raindrops in the sun.

  9. Wow, “the sun breaking out of the clouds” is a fantastic shot! Well done 🙂

  10. Hallysann says:

    Beautiful …
    so peaceful 🙂

  11. A great collection of images 🙂

  12. penpusherpen says:

    aww, perhaps as you say Turtle the younger is looking for Turtle the Older and Wiser, who’s gone on Walkabout to see the World after the responsibilities of bringing up her family have ceased. I hope she has many an exciting and (of course) safe adventures. … and I do wish I’d read this blog yesterday, as last night I watched a game show and one question was, “which plant is named after the Physician to the Gods.” Sheeesh!! I could have looked really smart blurting out the answer!! Ah Well, I shall have to pay more attention and make sure I catch you updates sooner, Robin. 😀 xPenx

  13. elmediat says:

    Wonderful shots. The first one has this intensity – quiet and dramatic at the same time. The close ups of the peony are beautiful.

  14. Karma says:

    Gorgeous light in your photos! Thing sure did get “prettied up” – I may have to steal that term someday, LOL.
    I just LOVE peonies. Mine haven’t been blooming as profusely lately. It is disappointing. I planted them probably 15 years ago, touted by the catalog I bought them from as “Lifetime Peonies.” Hmmph.. I wonder who’s lifetime they are referring to!

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Karma. Feel free to steal it anytime. 🙂

      I read (while looking up info on peonies) that they can last more than 100 years. I have not experienced such a thing, however, partly because I haven’t lived 100 years or more and partly because I’ve had them kind of peter out on me, too.

  15. Derrick says:

    Several of these are quite lovely! The sun poking through the clouds, the macro shots of the wet flowers and the pics of the grass could stand all on their own. Nicely done!

Thank you for visiting, and for commenting. I hope you'll join me at my new blog home, Breezes at Dawn.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.