This post is a little different from my normal fare, so feel free to glance and move on (or if you like it, let me know that too). Earlier this week I traveled to Argentina, but along the way I found myself unexpectedly spending a day in Dallas due to a missed connection. Such travel snags are never fun, especially when the result is an entire day lost from a tight itinerary. I do, however, have to give American Airlines props for comping me a night’s stay at the Downtown Crowne Plaza Hotel (very, very nice!). The following day, my flight to Buenos Aires would not leave until early evening, so I had to find some way to occupy myself after my noon checkout. Whenever I find myself in a large city looking for something to do, my first thought is always the local botanical garden. Dallas, of course, has a world class example of such—the Dallas Arboretum, situated in the heart of the city on the east side of White Rock Lake. Any time of year is a good time to visit a botanical garden, but fall is without question my favorite time. Turning leaves and late-season blooms would have been enticement enough, but this particular day found the garden in the midst of its annual fall festival, featuring a Pumpkin Village and a charming little “Small Houses of Great Artists” exhibit, and artfully placed throughout the garden were glass sculptures by world-famous Dale Chihuly. There was a lot to see, and I’m thankful that I had the luxury of exploring the garden’s many meandering paths at a leisurely pace without feeling rushed for time.
Frustratingly, I had decided not to bring my good camera with me on this trip since I didn’t anticipate any opportunities for photography. Even though I’m not normally inclined to photograph gardens and especially sculptures (preferring instead native and naturalized landscapes), I found the expert fusion of art and nature in the displays irresistible and did what I could with my smart phone (which, it turns out, takes surprisingly good photos for its size, especially for certain applications such as wide-angle landscapes). Obviously, armed with such, it’s hard to take “unique” photos of subjects that thousands of others (also armed mostly with smart phones) are passing by daily. Hopefully, however, I managed one or two that provide a different perspective. With that, I’ve picked out my 24 favorites and present them here in a brief slide show (the slides cycle continuously, beginning with “Mexican Hat Tower” and ending with “Blue Icicles”). Below that is a gallery of the photos in case the slideshow does not function in your browser or if you would like to see a larger version of a particular photo.
I know which are my favorites—are there any that you would call out (compositionally at least)?
Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2012