Hot Air Balloon, Through the Red Elm
It was a fabulous morning for firsts at the Arboretum. As I arrived, what did I spy but a huge, gorgeous hot air balloon coming up over the hill, big as the rising sun. I parked the car quickly and RAN with my camera. I knew just what I wanted in my Arboretum balloon photo: the red elm!
As I listened to the balloon's sounds (for the sound of those rising jets of hot gases cannot be mistaken), I took about a dozen shots of the balloon's progress. It meandered across the sky and traveled right behind the red elm. Above is my favorite shot of the balloon, framed within the very heart of one of my all-time favorite trees.
A Dancing Girl and her orange Cat-Steed insisted on coming along with me on this morning. For the fuchsia plant on the porch is finally blooming, at summer's end, and I have a few Dancing Girls now. They wanted to see the sunflowers, and so I took their picture on one. You may see that happy shot - The Sunflower Riders - in the extras.
But then things got even BETTER, if you can believe it! I had finished my little stroll around the grounds and was heading for the car, but then I went back for "just one more look." I admit I was hoping to snag a photo of the jewel-green hummingbird I have seen now TWICE in the morning, visiting the sunflowers.
I did not see the hummingbird again, alas, but I saw something even cooler: a gray fox trotting along the green grass by the Sundial. It was there for just two seconds, maybe. I had my camera out, and on, but it was asleep, and suddenly, I was grabbing it, focusing, snapping.
All I got was one not-so-great shot of the gray fox's huge, fluffy tail disappearing into the sunflower patch; not good enough to share here. But the experience was marvelous, magical, awesome, all of the best words I can think of, stuffed into a single sentence. For on this morning, I saw a hot air balloon AND a fox, two firsts at the Arboretum!
My song has to be about and for a tree, so here is the Dave Matthews Band, with The Dreaming Tree.