Friday, October 24, 2014

Winged Things and a Rant

Had an interesting encounter last weekend at the arboretum. I watched from a distance as a young (and very pretty) pregnant girl picked a small bouquet of flowers. Carefully she made her selections; however, one flower was rejected and placed on a brick post to wither and die.

When she made her way over to the rose section, closer to me, I saw no choice but to confront her. As gently as possible I informed her that she wasn't allowed to pick the flowers, that they were for everyone to enjoy, especially the butterflies and other insects who depend on them. I'll spare you the entire exchange, complete with eye rolls and sass. However, I remained calm yet firm.

As I was packing up my car to leave, she walked by, glaring at me, sans flowers. My jaw dropped open. I said "Where are the flowers?" She said, "Does it really matter? I mean, after you bitched at me, I no longer wanted them." "Well," I said, "that's just great. Now they're wasted. You really should have known better anyway."

Doesn't everyone know you cannot pick flowers from a local arboretum as though it was your own personal garden?!

Okay, rant over. Here are some critters I was able to shoot in between blood pressure spikes.





Guess who? Face blurred on purpose.
It's been a long time since I felt angry enough to confront a complete stranger, so it's still bothering me. Not one of my finer moments to say the least. My biking partner said she would have nicely informed her that twice a year the arboretum has plants for sale, but I didn't know that. Would you have handled the scenario differently?

53 comments:

Jacquelineand.... said...

I probably would have done the exact same thing Gail; people continue to do these things because they don't hold themselves accountable and no one will speak up.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Oh be still my heart!! I am all for confronting strangers that think they own the land and do what she was doing!! In fact, I'd have gone one further. You got a photo, and obviously a car/vehicle, I would have made tracks to the arboretum office and reported her! That's a felon!!

Other than my own rant now, I enjoyed your photos Gail. And I was just here a few minutes ago telling you that I've missed your posts. lol

HOOTIN ANNI said...

ps...not that I'm innocent...but I would NOT intentionally damage anyone's property be it private/public.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Sorry she was so selfish.

I love the shot of the pale yellow butterfly!

diane b said...

Great macro shots. I especially like the spotted lady beetle. Good for you for saying something. I probably would just have given her the look.

Shug said...

Would 't it be sad if everyone who visited the arboretum chose to pick flowers......if you were not the first to visit when it opened...then there would not be much to see for the others!! Your point was well made and you are so right.... I'm enjoying the detailed photos!! Just let God fill you with Peace and try to keep that BP down! hugs!!

Irma said...

Beautiful pictures of the flowers the bee and the butterfly, Gail.
Very detailed, perfectly photographed.
Good that you said something.
If everyone this going to do, it stays there no flower more.

rainfield61 said...

All the critters and insects feel so lucky to have flowers left for them, though they have the right to have them.

She is simply too selfish.

Bethany Carson said...

Beautiful photos of the flowers and insects. The butterflies you captured are stunning!

Karen S. said...

Some people are just in their own little world, and have no regard for rules, and lack respect. Clearly, by her last response and choice of words, she has much to learn, and I feel sorry for that precious little growing up with her guidance. I'm happy you made it there, great photos, and it's something I have to do again too before you know what begins to fall! (Notice I'm not saying it!)

TexWisGirl said...

depending on how well-staffed they were, i may have gone to someone who worked there to report her and let them do the officiating.

and people wonder why i stay home so much. ;)

love your photos.

Evelyn S. said...

I'm chuckling, thinking of this confrontation. As long as you didn't swear at her, I think it's good what you did. Years ago, I clipped a column written by a woman who argued that adults have a responsibility to react to kids who are being obnoxious or profane or both...when their parents aren't around. She said we shouldn't turn a blind eye..or deaf ear...but should let them know it's not appropriate. Her comment, "Tell your mother I said 'Hi'" to make them think you actually know their mother. Today, however, many of them have mothers who don't seem to care. That young woman is old enough to know better.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

I would have bitchslapped the...

...You get the idea.

I'm not afraid of confrontation.

Loved your shots.

DeniseinVA said...

On your photos, stunning! On that young girl, maybe as she gets a little older and wiser she will see the good sense of it all as she remembers the lady who tried to teach her a very valuable lesson. We can live in hope Gail, we can live in hope. I would have said something also. It's too bad she felt the need to be rude but for some the best form of defense is attack. Good on you for sticking to your guns.

June Caedmon said...

I love the way the bee is wrapped around the flower in that first shot, Gail! Very determined! All beautiful close-ups!

As far as the girl, I probably would have asked if she knew that she wasn't supposed to pick the flowers. It may seem like a natural understanding to you and me, but we (at least I) was taught these things by my parents. Sadly, we can't assume that anymore. If her response was disrespectful, I probably would have notified someone at the facility and let them take it from there. I don't do confrontation well, lol! It sounds like you tried to be gentle with her, I'm sorry that she didn't respond in kind.

Gone Country said...

Stunning shots! Just gorgeous!

I'm not sure how I would've handled it because I hate any sort of confrontation but I sure would've been as upset as you. And, maybe I would've been upset enough to confront her. People are really something these days for sure! But, you did the right thing in letting her know. It was the girls' response that is not right. Are there not any signs about not picking the flowers located in various places around the arboretum? They might have to add some just for people like her. And, I'm sure she wasn't the first one nor will be the last. People. sigh. ;)

nookworm said...

I'm not confrontational BUT I would have had to say something in this case for sure. Being where I am, I can justify her case as "innocent ignorance." If it came down to person to person contact, I don't really know how I would have handled it but I would have. You did the correct action even if she still couldn't understand and she probably won't until she experiences much more of life. How sad....but on top of it all you were able to take wonderful shots again! KUDOS!

Ruth Hiebert said...

DOn't know what I would have done but it is upsetting to see people think they own the place. I think it's right up there with taste testing the fruit or candy in a grocery store.Buy it first and then eat. Oh well,the pictures you share are beautiful.

Laura said...

I am entranced by your macros… I must admit I skipped through the rant part, because the images are so beautiful!

bailey-road.com said...

All too often, I'm afraid, people seem to think they can do whatever they want.
Gail, these photos are so beautiful. I love the ladybug taking flight.

Stephanie said...

Wow, way to go, Gail! Sometimes I need to be like you...I get so nervous about confronting people yet it's something that must be done!

Your pictures are beautiful, my friend. Hugs!

Barbara Shallue said...

I think you did the right thing, and I would have done it, too. There are too many people who are hesitant to speak up. Your photos are so detailed, Gail! That first one is amazing!

Sally Crowe said...

Not sure how I would have reacted, but perhaps she did learn a valuable lesson. Your photo's, as always, are very beautiful.

Brian King said...

Beautiful! Such great detail and colors!

Debbie said...

I am glad you did what you did, I hope I would be brave enough to do the same. I have seen children pick flowers in public gardens and their parents say nothing. Once I was at a public, community based butterfly garden and a mother and her son were catching and keeping monarchs. My husband would not let me say anything!

I wish people were more thoughtful, your images are stunning and would not be possible if everyone picked the flowers!!

Laura Delegal - Leroy Photography said...

Good for you. I've always been too timid, but the older I get the more ballsy I feel. It's somewhat liberating--if I ever act on it. I'm more likely to be the one glaring instead of speaking. Good for you. (And beautiful images -- with the exception of the last.) :)

Hilary said...

You did fine, Gail. I would have spoken to her as well. Despite the blurring, she appears to be very young. Perhaps she grew up without much guidance. Perhaps your taking the time to help her to understand that the flowers were not hers for the taking, has helped her to grow... and will subsequently help her child. I wouldn't worry too much about the sassy mouth later. People do that when they feel embarrassed and maybe she had the good sense to take it all in, thanks to you.

Hilary said...

Oh and your photos are lovely as always.

Felicia said...

gorgeous macros Gail.

I agree with a few of the others that said they would have reported her to the office.

Karen said...

Stunningly beautiful Gail! The ladybug ready to fly is just awesome.

As for that silly girl, you handled it better than I would have, I would have been screaming at her!

Linda said...

You did the right thing. Now she knows.

Roan said...

In the business I'm in, we see a lot of kids that don't seem to respect other peoples property, nature, or wildlife. I'm afraid I wouldn't have handled it any better. I once saw a boy throwing rocks at a goose. I was in my car, so I pulled over and rolled down my window and yelled, "STOP throwing rocks!" His mother was standing nearby and glared at me. I didn't feel bad at all. She should have known to stop such behavior. Beautiful critters!

Frank said...

Well done you for confronting such inappropriate behaviour. Her final comments confirm she knew she was in the wrong.

Great series of images Gail.

Rosie Grey said...

I think you did quite right, Gail!
And I love your photos - they are stunning! Have a wonderful weekend!

Hannah said...

The girl seems really immature to be having a baby. I love the punk hair on the yellow butterfly. The orange butterfly is gorgeous, and it's amusing to see what is underneath those shiny wing covers on the ladybug.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

I agree with you 1,000 percent. If she never does this again it is good you said something. We are all young and do stupid stuff. It takes the gentle reminders of elders to help us become better people as we age. Goodness knows, I received my share of comments along the way. Hopefully, I am better for it.

I too have "corrected" others from time to time, like the day I yelled at a neighbor, whose dog was running loose and scared me to bits, or the day I admonished a youngster to stop driving his tricycle into a newly planted tree in the park,

It's hard to do this because I hate to confront anyone. Besides, in Virginia you can carry a concealed weapon, and some people are crazy.

Sallie (fullTime -life) said...

I would have done the same thing. And my husband would have said 'you'll get yourself killed one of these times" . Well maybe not by this pG wisp of an uneducated girl, but I really scared Bill when I confronted a tattooed biker for having an off-leash pit bull on a birding trail in the Everglades. (He leashed it ;).

Was there staff who could have helped?

Anyway, the pictures you got are of course terrific!

EG CameraGirl said...

I think you handled it well, Gail. I'm not sure what I would have done as I have never seen anyone do that before! But I have heard a lot of teacher's say that her generation is packed with tons of "entitled" individuals because they have rarely heard the word "no."

hootnonny said...

Wonderfully crisp shots! I've done the same thing in the past. Perhaps she had no one in her life to teach her, but surely she's seen "take only photos, leave only footprints!"

Ida said...

As always your photos are just stunning. The detail you capture is nothing short of amazing.
Now about that girl picking the flowers. I think you had every right to say something to her. Her attitude was wrong and like someone else said perhaps you should have just reported her to the owners of the property. I once got in trouble in one of those places (Longwood Gardens) for wading in a fountain. They actually sent someone out on a cart to tell us that we weren't to wade in the fountains. It was embarrassing but "live and learn."

Jeanne said...

Oh my... I am a big big fan of bug wings. I love each of these and the bee in flight in the last post. Excellent!!

Jen said...

You were much nicer than I would have been. Love the butterfly pics. Humbled by the bee pics. Beautiful.

Renae of Simple Sequins said...

She was either immature or just unlearned of the etiquette of public gardens or even wild flowers. We camp at least once a year in our mountains and each year I, never fails, find one of our cousins or my grandkids thinking it a swell idea to favor me with a fresh bouquet of wild flowers. I have to teach them that they are not to pick them. When I was a camper in our youth church camps, they taught us to only pick one flower if there were at least one hundred in a grouping. Well there never was 100, so we soon learned we can't pick wild flowers.

I am glad you let in on her. She needed the education, but probably doesn't appreciate it.

♥, Renae

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Willow said...

What great shots Gail . The first one looks like it was summing up your confrontation ! Yes that would have annoyed me to see her do that too ~ perhaps we can chalk it up to her hormones being off due to pregnancy .

nookworm said...

You have a SPAMMER!!

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Tina Fariss Barbour said...

In a situation like that, I think I would have done the same thing as you, if I had the nerve. When I feel passionate about something--like animals and nature--I tend to feel braver about speaking up. I say good for you! She really did need to know that she can't take the beauty with her.

As always, your photos astound me with their beauty. Wonderful closeups of the bees!

Helma said...

The second and fourth pictures are my absolute top in this serie.Mooi macro work, beautifully bright and beautiful details. Enjoy today.

Barb Brookbank said...

She should be ashamed! My very young grandchildren know better!!

Wally Jones said...

Superb photographs, Gail! You're gonna make me buy a macro lens yet.

That wasn't a rant, it was common sense. Good job!

I've been told (frequently by my Domestic Boss) that I have a sarcastic streak. (I don't see it.) I might have approached the young lady and said: "Ohh, those are beautiful flowers you have! I hope you'll teach your new child it's okay to enjoy flowers on the plant and to stop at a flower shop if you want some to take home. That way they won't get yelled at for breaking the rules. Have a nice day!"

But confrontation is never easy.

You did good. (Take deep breaths.)

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Gail, I also agree thatbyou did the right thing in telling the gitl she was not supposed to pick the flowers. While I don't know if ignorance was a factor, her attitude was clearly immature. Perhaps notifying officemanagement to post clear warnings not to pick flowers might be in order as well.

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

I know I've been missing in action!! but goodness - I missed this too??
You're so awesome - I'm proud of you Gail!! Being a teacher - I'm always saying something to unruly kids in stores when I'm alone!! If I'm with Danny and he sees them too, he'll pull me away. He's afraid a mom or dad or who ever is with them will "shoot us"! But not sure if I'd say anything to an adult!! Wish I was strong like you!! I do GLARE at people if they park in a handicapped if they don't have the tag or hanging tag in the front and they walk out fine or return to their car.
The girl obviously didn't have a parent that taught her - "Don't pick the flowers!!" in a park. Hopefully she won't do that again!!

shelleydf73 said...

I've been reading your page from home until here, and am in awe of your photography skills! This stopped me in my tracks, and I had to say you did great by calling her out. People don't always appreciate nature like others do. I'm loving your blog, and am going on my merry way now. PS - Your father sounds like a hoot, and I would love to hear more about him! Shelley in Denham Springs.