Friday, August 13, 2010

Take Extra Care With Strangers; Even Flowers Have Their Dangers

A first look at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

I've been to parks and gardens before, but none of them have been quite this big.  The Atlanta garden sprawls.  I could (and probably will) feature it for days.  There's simply too much to put into one post.  There's almost too much to see in one day.  And somehow we managed zip through it in one morning.

The first big feature is the Canopy Walk.  It reaches out to you the second you move into the garden, the big metal structure disappearing into the trees.  We'll find a sign later, set into the flowers down below, that claims the steel supports were designed to mimic a dancing Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.  If you squint from ground level, you can almost just see it.  Ah, yes.  There's the kick of Fred's heel.  There's the flair of Ginger's dress.  "Dancing through the trees," they call it.  Some people are so innovative.

The forest rises around you, leafy branches reaching out to tickle your face.  The structure is huge, alien, but moves between the trees with such an easy fluidity it's hard to imagine the walkway ever not being there.  

Below, the garden buzzes.  I could hang my head over the side for hours, just to watch the wind rustle the underbrush.  People pass through the shade and don't even glance above their heads.  The sun paints the ground Seurat, peppering light where it can through the gently swaying trees.  It's an ever-changing canvas.  And there's still so much more to see.  

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