If you've never been to Maymont, it's a huge estate that was owned by the Dooleys and is now a privately owned park, but open to the public. They have lots of events, a large variety of animals, gardens and acres of rolling hills to explore. Today, we started at the main entrance by the gardens. We focused on the Italian Gardens and the Japanese Gardens...mostly the Japanese, as it's a larger area and has a bamboo forest to wonder through.
At the main entrance, there are pansies in a variety of colors.
These yellow pansies are along the right side of the entrance path, below some bushes.
These little bugs were all of the park. They clung to my clothing, but they were so small, they didn't bother me.
We had a picnic under this beautiful tree. In the Spring, Summer and early Fall, the leaves provide shade.
There has been a strong wind lately, so there were lots of limbs on the ground.
This is a fallen dead bloom from the tree above.
After our picnic, we put our picnic stuff in the car (which is when we took the photos by the entrance) and ventured into the gardens.
This is a tree with small red flowers. The tree is behind the carriage house.
Near the tree, the ground was covered with violets.
This dandelion was alone in the surrounding violets.
The upper wall of the Italian garden is lined with flowering bushes. I think they are roses. There were several new blooms, but the bases of them looked dead.
The ground on the Italian garden path had these small purple flowers as a ground cover plant.
The lower section of the upper wall had these dead flowers.
There is this beautiful double stair case leading down towards the Japanese garden path. There is a waterfall that flows between the two stair cases, but it was turned off for Winter. There were these brown spots on the water side railing. I assume they are rust.
You can take the regular path to the Japanese gardens, or you can have a bit of an adventure and go through the bamboo forest. I choose the bamboo forest, since it was only Alex and I. I knew we could do this without a problem. Also, we were just crossing over to the other waterfall and this is the faster route.
This is the ceiling of the bamboo forest. Different sections are tall enough to easily walk through and some less traveled routes you have to crouch through.
This is one of the taller path ways.
This waterfall was turned off too. This is what the base of it looks like without the flow of water. Some areas were dry and some were muddy. This waterfall flows down into a stream and eventually the pond.
The pond is stocked with koi fish. There were 4 geese and 3 ducks swimming in the pond with the large amount of Koi.
There are many koi in this pond in a variety of colors. We saw orange with black spots, yellow, somewhere in between those two, off white and black. Photowise, I was happy to see so many and I also liked the reflection of the trees on the water.
These are two of the geese.
Something (maybe annoying people) upset the geese. They started honking loudly for about 30 minutes. They were swimming quickly in the water, chasing each other and towards the humans.
The ducks quacked a bit too, but not much. This is one of the two male ducks and the one female. I love the rippled effect in the water, that the male duck caused by swimming quickly.
We headed to the other end of the pond, to escape the noisy geese. I wanted to capture the tall trees and their reflections.
I like this section of the pond, because there are many odd roots. This particular grouping is unusual, as there are two faces. I like to think of them as mystical guardians of the pond.
The trees in this section are very tall, with many spiky looking branches. This photo was taken by setting my camera to a 2 second delay, a landscape setting and placing the camera on the ground, facing up.
I think the Grotto is man made, but the plants are natural. It looks like the mouth of a monster. Of course, I had to temporarily feed Alex to it. She emerged unscathed.
We climbed back through the bamboo forest, up towards the Italian Gardens from a different section. I don't recommend this, as your calves will hate you. The view of the park here is amazing. This is a section of it where you can see the James River and the rail road tracks.
This is a fallen pine cluster, under that tree with the red flowers.