Airlie Lake

North Carolina Azalea Festival 2014


Tangled Up (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford


There weren’t many blooms the day I visited Airlie Gardens for the Azalea Festival.  Heavy rains and strong winds had decimated most of the blossoms, ripping them up and laying down the tulips.  But the garden is resilient.  Pockets of azaleas enjoyed the cooler sunny day, raising their faces to the sunshine in defiance and happiness.


ImageEmerging (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford


Soft green leaves had already shoved the dark leathery old leaves off the tips of live oaks.  These lively green leaves were bursting through the Spanish moss and greedily soaking in the sunshine.


ImageArchway (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford


I found a pergola with a stunning arched entrance where I lingered, amazed by the treasure.  I’d somehow missed this architectural interest in all my recent trips.  Sauntering through the half moon shape, the lines in the gravel made by sun through the feature were fascinating.


ImageResurrection Ferns (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford


The resurrection ferns lie atop massive live oak branches like icing on a cake.  Draping Spanish moss, filtered sunlight make the scene look surreal.  Indeed, it is…it is.


ImagePeeking Through (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford


It was a lovely walk through a beautiful place.  Peaceful, serene, meditative.  Alone, I sat for long periods and thought of nothing but instead breathed deeply and became one with Nature.