Thursday, July 3, 2008

Okinawa's Southeast Botanical Gardens

Yesterday, Lee and I decided to go to the Southeast Botanical know me and how I love the closeup flower pictures :) It cost us 1000 yen each to get in, and we only wandered around half of the park--there's another part that has more arts and crafts stuff, and we just wanted to see the garden part yesterday. We'll have to go back at different times of the year to see what changes.

We saw this pond just after we entered the gardens.

Lee took most of the pictures yesterday, and he calibrated the settings on the camera so all the pictures turned out awesome :) We took about 150; I've pared it down to about 45 on our computer but I won't make you sit through all those. But check out the vibrant color on this hibiscus, is it not just gorgeous?!

This next one is a red ginger plant, which according to my exhaustive one minute of online research also grows in Hawaii. Kind of neat looking.

I found this cute little guy...I didn't really see any other statues around the garden but I thought this one was neat looking. He's only about knee-high. So how are my picture-taking skills? Am I taking interesting shots yet?

Lee took this next one because I won't get close to it...we saw LOTS of spiders. The saying is that everything's bigger in Texas, but Texas ain't got nothin' on Okinawa when it comes to bugs and spiders. I saw several spider webs strung up between trees that were at least six feet apart; these spiders would probably cover the palm of your hand but I sure will NOT get close enough to test that theory! Hey Mom, is this a banana spider?

A bridge going over the carp pond. The sides of the bridge look like they're made out of wagon wheels or something. I bought some fish food and fed the carp, and now I know what a feeding frenzy looks like :) Didn't get any spectacular fishy shots, so no carpy pictures for you.

Liz, I put this one on here just for you so I can PROVE that I was at the garden! I think this is just a lavender-colored crepe myrtle.

The Botanical Gardens is having a Lotus Festival until July 21. It didn't look much like a festival to me; they just had a long row of tubs with different kinds of lotus/water lilies (same thing) in them. I didn't know that they came in so many different colors...I'm just sharing some of the best pictures here, I took *lots* more but don't want to bore you with my penchant for Georgia O'Keeffe-style photography. According to the sign, this first one is the Queen of Siam. Love the purple flowers :)

This blue one is Leopardess.

Mexicana...wonder if they're the same as the Mexican water lilies that grow in California?

I think this was Lee's favorite picture of all the different lotus, this is the Miami Rose.

They had a huge pond with water lilies all over it that grow to probably 3-4 feet above the water line. These flowers are enormous--probably ten inches across. That circular thing in the middle that looks like a shower head or the end of a watering can is the seed pod--they're edible. Actually I think the flowers are too, from what I read online.

They had a large gift shop and restaurant in the garden; I could have wandered around the gift shop for quite a while--it was really hot outside, no cloud cover, and the gift shop has AC! :) I saw a book of the flowers of Okinawa but didn't get it--it was all in Japanese except for the title and the scientific name for each flower. When we go back I might get it anyway; I can always Google the flower names to see what the "common name" is. So what do you think of the gardens?


CCsMom said...

LOVE it -- so serene and Japanesey looking! I love all the beautiful colors. Wow. Yes, I'll have to make a list of what I want to see . . . SO MUCH to see. Most of all, I can't wait to see you and Lee!

Love ya and happy 4th of July! -- Mom

The Henry Crew! said...

Gorgeous!!! Have a happy Fourth of July!

Annapurna said...

Beautiful pictures. I wish I was there to see all the beauty. TFS.

Amber said...

Wow, so pretty! Billy and I ALMOST went there one day, wish we would have! It's really so pretty! The lotus flowers are my favorite of the pictures too, really pretty

lizguidry said...

Beautiful flowers! You should blow them up and hang them in your scrappin' room for inspiration. The pic of the bridge looks like a postcard.

You'll be glad that I MADE you be in some pictures...they will look great in your scrapbook!

Miss you guys!