Hot Air Balloon Over the Arboretum
I was on a vacation day last week when some of the final decisions came down about many Penn State staff (including me!) being approved to work off-site for the coming few weeks, due to the coronavirus pandemic. I wanted to run into the office to grab some files, print some documents, make some phone calls, and water my tree. So that is exactly what I did on Monday morning.
And my timing was good. I swung by the Arboretum for a quick visit, and the instant I approached the grounds, I saw a lovely hot air balloon over it. I took this shot out my car window as I was racing to get to the parking lot to try to get some better pictures. One I particularly had in mind was a photo of the big balloon over my beloved lily pond!
But they had the main entrance to the Arboretum walkway blocked by machines. They were working on mulching, I think, which involved various machines and a long tube that spat things out of it noisily. So I jumped out of the car and ran like a jackrabbit, through the poplar stand and over to the lily pond, my camera bag bouncing on my shoulder.
I did get a single shot of the hot air balloon reflected on the lily pond, but the balloon had already started to come down through the trees at that point in time. My best guess is that it was headed for Sunset Park, next door to Joe and Sue Paterno's house. The lily pond balloon shot wasn't as good as this one, so here you go: see above for one of the highlights of my day.
I also made a quick stop at the horse barns and got to meet the two most recent fillies. There is a shot of one of them in the extras: a pretty little gal with three white socks and a white stripe down her nose. Her mama* had a matching stripe on a MUCH bigger nose! Here are the details: a filly born on the morning of March 12 out of A Pretty Big Deal by Red White N Good.
There soundtrack song for the above image is the Fifth Dimension, with Up, Up & Away.
*Now, I also have a not-so-great story that goes with the horse pic. While I was visiting the little horses, I was joined by two people, a woman and a man, who arrived separately but somehow knew each other, who were also trying to get pics of the baby horses. The man walked right up to the gate with his camera, and stood about a foot away from the horses you see in the extras.
Well, the mama started moving her head back and forth, whinnying, laying back her ears, and narrowing her eyes. The gent had NOT A CLUE that these were signs that the mare was uncomfortable with how close he was to her baby. I finally had to say to him: STAND BACK, YOU ARE TOO CLOSE! Which he did - he did step back - but he looked annoyed with me, as though I were ruining his party. I also observed the woman trying to touch the one baby, which the mama did not like.
Please, if you visit the horses, use some common (horse!) sense, and stand back if anybody starts acting nervous. I know how tempting it is, but no, you don't have to TOUCH the babies to enjoy them! So here is a song for these two people (and also for the rest of us in the age of coronavirus): The Police, with Don't Stand So Close to Me.