Roses and Dragons


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Welcome to the LSU Burden Center and Rural Life Museum. Although I have been a Louisiana resident all of my life, this is the very first opportunity I have had to visit this little gem of a place. I must tell you up front that so far I have not made it into the actual museum building because I am too enthralled with the beautiful flora and fauna that live on the grounds. Once you enter the main drive, which is located off of Essen Lane near the Interstate, there are signs which point the way to all areas of interest. The property is much larger than I imagined and there appear to be new things being added all the time. I ventured there last week when a friend and I were out trying to explore our area for things we hadn’t done or seen before. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t bring my camera that day, which left me verbally commiserating the lack while ooohing and aahhing over the lovely things I saw, even as I tried to capture the images with my phone camera.

So, as soon as a new week arrived, I packed up my Nikon and headed back.  I wanted to catch earlier sunlight so that I could play with the shadows in my shots. I want to share with you here what I saw.

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This was just one section of the many rows of different varieties of roses they have planted. There are also ginger gardens and trees and shrubs throughout the area are labeled for identification and genus.

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The Pinks blushed….

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The coral glowed in the sunlight…

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Many of the bushes were variegated to produce more than one color bloom.

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While I prefer the many layers of petals found within this type of flower…

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I can also appreciate the simplicity and elegance found in the more traditional varieties.

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So many! It was like a chorus of color.

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Then there were the sun kissed yellows…

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And the violets that remind me of proms and bridesmaids…

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And the brilliance of sunset orange was painted on the face of these lovely blooms.

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Here, I “picked” a Valentine’s bouquet for you!

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And of course the “dragons” showed up to delight me and share the walk, leading me on to the discovery trails that cover about three miles of hiking. The paths are well cleared and gravel covered, as well as having natural bench seating areas along the way to rest or meditate-or wait patiently for some bit of wonder to show itself. The dragons were with me all the way!

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And we can’t forget the Earth’s own natural blooms, those that rise without special care or nurturing, often having to struggle to survive or be noticed for their beauty. The wildflowers!

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This one was a happy guide!

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Bench and steps carved from a fallen tree.

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Where one leaves off…another takes over!

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A shady place to rest…

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Wooden “sentries” wear the looks of forest spirits-happy!

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This one bid me farewell as I left the path. I will return another day in the coolness of an evening, perhaps to see more birds on that visit.

So, if you find yourself with not enough time for a long drive but feel you need the peace of being “one with nature”, take a detour off of the nightmarish traffic laden road of Essen Lane and drift into the Burden Center. You’ll be glad you took some time to smell the roses.

You can check them out online by typing in Burden Center LSU ag center. There are details about hours, the museum and their ongoing projects and research. May you find flowers and wings in your day!

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