The last two days I’ve focused on flowers as my 365 photo subjects. It’s summer – floral color is everywhere and I must take advantage!

Yesterday I played golf for the first time in nearly a year. I am not a fan of the game, but my husband and son are, and my in-laws were. It was inevitable that at some point I would be drawn into the game. When my son was young, the amount of time he and his father played together, leaving me at home by myself, made me realize that if I wanted more family time with them, I’d have to take up this game myself. I enjoyed my alone time, but I also missed them. So – I took up golf – admittedly a bit grudgingly. Unlike our son, who was a natural at the golf swing, I had to work at it, take many lessons, and practice, practice, practice. It was also a game which made me nervous, as a speedy “pace of play” is expected so one does not hold up the group behind you. When one is learning and not hitting the ball well, that is difficult. While learning the game, I felt “watched”, and I worried I was being criticized from players behind me for holding them up – so much so, that I was often reduced to tears, and my golf got even worse! I wanted to quit, but persevered because my family wanted me to play. Ultimately I got good enough so that some of this nervousness subsided, and I actually began to like the game, although I’ve never had a love affair with it either. I still am not much of a player, and my golf handicap – which is a 36 – has actually gotten worse over the last year, mostly due to lack interest, which translated into lack of play. The reality is that my interest in photography has increased at the same rate that my interest in golf has decreased! But – I still can keep up and manage to play the game without embarrassing myself … most times.

I am a member of the 18 hole women’s association, but this year I have not played … until yesterday. I’ve been avoiding it, but so many have asked where I’ve been that I thought I’d best appear on the scene!

The tournament yesterday was to benefit the Ellen Hermanson breast Center at Southampton Hospital. $20. got you into the tournament, and there were winners in 4 different “flights” (handicap levels). Each participant got a goody bag with a t-shirt, golf tees, pen and post-it notes – all in pink! The day was crystal clear, very cool (requiring a wind shirt) and very windy. The wind was a major distraction, but I managed to hold my own, and won a gorgeous hanging flowering plant for winning my flight! 🙂

Considering the lengthy amount of time since I’d played before, I was surprised but very pleased! Yet, in reality, there is a phenomenon whereby one often does much better the first time one plays after a long hiatus. One has fewer expectations to play well. One is simply glad to hit the ball ok as much as possible. More importantly, the critical voices in your head telling you every little thing that is wrong with your golf swing are less vocal. In that first game, you simply rely on body memories to accomplish the golf swing. Now … if I could silence those voices during my next game, I would be happy!

So – – today’s photo will be what I won – – the (pink – the breast health color) flowering plant, which now hangs out on the over hang on our deck:

365 photo #178. I admit – – I do not know what this flower is – and I pray I can keep this alive. I’m known to be a “plant killer” – though not intentionally! If I find out the name of the plant, I’ll add it here.

Bonus photos … some of the individual flowers:

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Will this little winning motivate me to play more? I kind of doubt it. However, it did remind me that I still *can* play, and I’m sure I’ll play “sometimes”. I did sign up for next week’s tournament, but because of travel during the month of July, I won’t be able to play until August. In hot, humid weather, I count the holes until the game is over, and yesterday’s game was anything but that. So — we’ll see how it goes as time moves forward…

Today’s photo are more of our hydrangeas. They are more nearly in full bloom and are becoming very pretty:

365 photo #179

Bonus photos:

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Hydrangeas are interesting flowers in that with some varieties their floral color is – I believe – based upon the level of acidity in the soil. We do nothing to our soil, so our mostly dark blue flowers tell us that our soil is naturally acidic. The more blue the flower, the more acidic the soil. Yet – we also have shades of pink in some of the flowers, and in some blooms both colors are represented. It makes for a very pretty bush!

I admit — I am a little sentimental about this hydrangea bush. It was given to me by Ray’s Rotary Club on the occasion of my father’s death in 1988. So – I think of him when I enjoy the blooms.