C’est la Vie

The Monet Waterlily Festival at Gibbs Gardens is also a celebration of French culture.  They had many fleur-de-lis and French tri-color flags fluttering in the breeze.  Along the main walkway that leads to the waterlily gardens, there were also two iconic French characters, a Mime and an Accordion player.

I have not yet visited France but this certainly brought to mind all the Hollywood representations of the country.  I’m sure they have mimes and accordions on every street corner, right?  When I finally get the chance to go there, I will be severely disappointed if this isn’t true!

Monet Waterlily Festival
Gibbs Gardens
Ball Ground, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
200mm @ f/9 – 1/20 sec – ISO 250

#GibbsGardens  #MonetWaterlilyFestival #flowers #gardens  #WithMyTamron  #France #accordion

Lily pond reflections

As beautiful as the perfect pink lilies are, it was the ripples in the water that really caught my eye here.  The yellow and green stripes in the water just brought out the light and movement as the surface of the water was touched by a light wind.

I could have zoomed in more on the flowers but the water was just as interesting in this case.  I’m not sure everyone would agree with my choice here but this was the scene that I found most appealing.  That each of us can see different things when looking at nature is one of the things that makes it always appealing.  On my next visit, I’m sure I will see another aspect that captures my attention.  What a great way to spend an afternoon.

Monet Waterlily Festival
Gibbs Gardens
Ball Ground, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
200mm @ f/9 – 1/20 sec – ISO 250

Gibbs Gardens  #GibbsGardens  #MonetWaterlilyFestival  #WaterLilies  #flowers #gardens #WithMyTamron #reflections #LilyPond

Monet Waterlily Festival

Joyce and I drove out to Gibbs Gardens to see what was going on for the first of their Fall Festivals.  Right now the focus is on the Water Lily gardens which are looking quite nice.  I thought this was one of the coolest lilies to see although, it was not open as fully as most of the others we saw.

The deep purple exterior with white interior and yellow stamen made it attractive to start with but the reflections of the surrounding trees really made the scene pop. Not sure if you agree but I thought this could have been a subject for a Monet painting.

I think we will be making more trips to Ball Ground as the autumn colors come in and fill the garden trees with the glory of Fall.

Monet Waterlily Festival
Gibbs Gardens
Ball Ground, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
210mm @ f/9 – 1/15 sec – ISO 250

Hot Air Balloon Launch

It is always a beautiful sight to see hot-air balloons launch in a rainbow of colors into the sky.  Saturday morning in Helen, Georgia, this was definitely the case.  We watched the crews lay the balloons out then use a big fan to blow air in and then the burners to heat the air and make it float.  They don’t all lift off at the same time but drift up one or two at a time for a great scene.

This is also a sport that is very dependent on the weather.  Each time there is a balloon launch, there is a distinct possibility that it won’t happen.  As a member of one of the crews told me, it’s kind of a Goldilocks type thing.  Not too hot or too cold, not too windy or too calm or it is a No Go.  On this morning, things were pretty good but the wind was on the very light side.  If they had been launching for the race, it probably would not have gone off.

The race that is the center of this annual balloon festival is a unique event.  The balloons launch from the city of Helen in the North Georgia mountains, bound for the Atlantic Coast.  There is no pre-determined end location but the finish line is Interstate Highway 95 (I-95) that runs all along the east coast of the US.  The shortest possible distance is 225 miles away but, technically, the finish line could be crossed anywhere from Maine to Florida.

44th Annual Helen to the Atlantic Balloon Race & Festival
Helen, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
16mm @ f/10 – 1/60 sec – ISO 200

Helen Balloon Festival

Joyce and I went out at 0-dark thirty yesterday to see the Balloon Festival in Helen, GA.  The event was scheduled to start at 6:30am and it took about an hour and a half to drive there so, that tells you when we had to leave.

We had  a great time meeting up with the North Georgia Photography Club and watching as the crews laid the balloons out, filled them with hot air and launched.  It was beautifully colorful and lots of fun to see.

I only got part way through my post-processing since I ran out of steam before it got to be late.  Should have taken a nap in the afternoon but, that didn’t happen.  More pics to come soon.

44th Annual Helen to the Atlantic Balloon Race & Festival
Helen, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
16mm @ f/10 – 1/60 sec – ISO 200