A few days after Lily's 3rd birthday we decided to take a trip to The Arboretum. I was in search for a quiet spot to capture her appearance and personality at this new age, and I looked forward to a relaxing afternoon after all the party planning. I wasn't necessarily there for the flowers, yet the moment we walked in we met two friendly old ladies raving about the orchids. I heard one of the ladies voice her regret of not bringing her camera when she turned around and noticed mine around my neck. She smiled at me and said 'Oh, you brought a nice camera...you should come with us and take a few pictures of the orchids. There is an extremely rare blue one you MUST see!'. Not wanting to turn her down we proceeded to follow her, but not before she advised us to bring a stroller if we had one. I didn't want to lose time by taking the stroller out of the car since we weren't planning to stay long...so I told her Lily would be fine walking. Then she lead us on a LOOOONG walk to the orchids (I nearly gave up).
Lily was so fascinated with the greenhouse that it was nearly impossible for me to capture her. She was careful not to disturb anything, but would hop from one orchid to another...then sneak around the corner.
As soon as I would call her name to let her know she had gone too far...
she would turn around and run back to me smiling.
Here is the infamous Blue Orchid...the reason why I lost breath reaching the greenhouse. It really was beautiful, just as I was told. Once the older ladies witnessed my documenting the orchids, they kindly left us to explore on our own...pointing out the Marriott Orchid on their way out.
I found the Marriott Orchid the most interesting. The very way it shields and captures water captivated me...it almost seemed like an art piece.
These are Red Orchids
We stepped out of the greenhouse, and ran into a female peacock sitting on her eggs. The peacock didn't budge one bit, and I made sure Lily watched from a distance. The animals at The Arboretum roam freely so I was always on alert when Lily came upon one.
We kept a distance, not just for their sake but for ours also...the male peacock was apparently on guard.
We were finally back on track with only an hour to spare before closing time.
So we began our stroll into the gardens.
I found a random rock in the middle of the field and asked Lily to sit down for a few shots. She was obviously in a wacky mood, and I couldn't get a serious face out of her for very long. Yet, her daddy really does like the larger image on the right...that's the face she gives when she's up to no good and proud of it.
It began to get cold so we decided to keep moving...
I sat her on this large bench then realized how small she looked sitting there. I took this image with the idea that I will be back every year and sit her here...I would love to have a series of these images.
Lets just hope the bench survives that long.
Just as we were about to leave, I see that tired look in her face. She looked so tranquil standing there, and far too exhausted to act out. She didn't fight it, she just stood there looking at me as she touched the little piece of skin on the tip of her lip.
This becomes the portrait I was seeking. My daughter...being herself...at 3 years old.