Inside the Japanese garden area of the Missouri Botanical garden is a pond. And along the "end" of this pond, as we came around the curved walkway, stood half a dozen photographers with tripods set and taking photos furiously...well, they were actually taking the photos calmly but there seemed to be a furious intensity in their actions just the same. Why? Because the pond, at this end, was covered with lotus flowers blooming, lotus pods striking out towards the sky like rockes, and lotus leaves as big as babies twisting and turning around the blossoms and inside the water. Absolutely made you stop breathing and just LOOK for a while.
I could have walked through that garden slowly, mindfully, for hours. If you visit St. Louis, forget the Zoo, forget the Science museum and the Arch...go straight to the Missouri Botanical Garden and view the lotus in bloom in late June (something this beautiful has to be fleeting).
In case you just have to see the Arch, here are the only 2 photos I took standing beside the thing. It was hot, there was a 45 minute wait in line to get tickets and then a 1 1/2 hour wait to get on the ride and ride up (because only 1 side was working and there were a lot of people waiting).
The final day, before we started our 6-hour drive home, we stopped at the Butterfly House in St. Louis. It was a lovely structure and well worth the stop. Hundreds of butterflies of all shapes and sizes flying through the air, landing on watered spots and oranges and looking like flying jewels. I wanted some to land on me but they didn't, although I had some friends who landed beside me as I rested on a bench or two.