Monday, March 3, 2008

Swan Lake And Iris Gardens

My daughter and I decided Saturday would be a great day to give the other daughter a day off from child rearing. After a quick lunch, we picked up sippy cups and filled up the gas tank.
We did not have an exact plan, but after some consideration decided that Sumter's Swan Lake and Iris garden would be fun for the children and grownups. Swan Lake has gorgeous gardens with boardwalks leading through the swamps and cypress trees. It has bathrooms, ample picnic areas and playgrounds for the children. There are a number of beautiful bronze statues. Swan Lake is home to all eight species of swans, mallards, egrets, Canada geese, herons and many other birds and wildlife. Swans pair for life, when one swan dies, usually its mate will not live much longer. The Whooper Swan is the exception having a divorce rate of 6% which is still pretty good given our human percentage of divorce! The swans can be quite vocal and territorial during their early spring mating season. Fortunately, our visit was still a little early for any aggressive behavior from the swans. The camelias and pansies were in bloom along with some ornamental cabbages. It was too early for all the beautiful spring flowers. Swan Lake hosts an Iris Festival around the end of March or early April. The children were enthralled feeding the swans, ducks and geese. As you can see by the pictures, they showed NO fear of any creatures. A few times I thought I might have to fish one or both out of the lake! We walked the entire trail around the lake and then crossed in the overpass and walked part of the boardwalk through the swamp. There was a wedding in progress in the gazebo. The weather was absolutely beautiful. I made a vow that day to spend more time communing with nature.
I love doing so and spend way too much time indoors. I feel close to my Heavenly Father when surrounded by so much beauty. I am so richly blessed. It was a good day. Have you been outside recently? I highly recommend taking your children or borrow someone else's children and look through their eyes it will amaze and astound you!


Michelle said...

NEWS FLASH people can borrow mine anytime!

scchesleys said...

Hey! Mine too! If you need a shopping buddy, Kiersten's your girl. Love the pics of the babies.

Perfectly Blended said...

Love the pictures!
BTW~ you can borrow my kiddo's too, only if you take one you've got to take all...LOL
Swan Lake is a beautiful park!

Laresa said...

I love swan lake I haven't been there for a long time. Thanks for the reminder to go back and enjoy nature.

Valencia said...

Beautiful pictures! What a treat for both Michelle and you and Heather. I want to go to Swan Lake again now - I think Spring Fever's contagious after this past gorgeous weekend.

marlajayne said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and am now considering driving over to Swan Lake between classes. When my oldest grandchild was born, my supervisor actually gave me a surprise grandmother shower in conjunction with our end-of-the-year picnic.

About nature, I know exactly how you felt Saturday because I felt that way all weekend. The feelings were especially powerful after visiting the temple and pondering the beautiful world that our Heavenly Father created for us.