Friday, October 14, 2005

October Flowers

The full flush of fall isn’t quite so full this year, reportedly because of the summertime drought. There seems to be a lot of sickly brown and green mixed in with the more pleasant golds and rare reds. Still, leaves are falling, mostly on to my yard, where the grass is an unnatural green because of heavy rains in the last few weeks.

No hard freezes yet, which was obvious when we visited the Friendship Park Conservatory today. Last week, I drove into Chicago for a lunch meeting, and instead of taking Golf Road as I intended, I went down Algonquin Road. I realized my mistake in fairly short order, but decided to stick with the road. Never mind the details of that drive. The important thing was that I drove past Friendship Park in Des Plaines, and saw out of the corner of my driving eye that it had a conservatory. Serendipity.

I like conservatories. The Chicago area has a number of major ones, such as the ones in Lincoln and Garfield parks, and in Oak Park. But there are also pleasant minor ones, such as one we ran across in Elmhurst a few years ago. I didn’t know there was one in Des Plaines.

The afternoon was warm and clear, and we were going that direction more or less anyway, so we went to Friendship Park. It’s a large suburban park with a ball field, playground and some open space: no different from many others, except for the conservatory. The gardens around the building are still lush with all sorts of colorful flowers, especially varieties of roses. At 4 pm on a weekday, however, the building was unaccountably empty and locked up.

Ah, well. Good flowers outside, anyway. Lilly wandered around and eagerly took pictures of the blooms with our digital camera, at no risk of wasting film. Ann pointed and said, "Flowa! Flowa!" sometimes. Some other time, maybe in winter, when the contrast between inside and outside is greater.


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