You should ramble

The Missouri Botanical Garden, a lovely place to ramble! April 2008

The Missouri Botanical Garden, a lovely place to ramble! April 2008

“To enjoy scenery you should ramble amidst it; let the feelings to which it gives rise mingle with other thoughts; look round upon it in intervals of reading; and not go to it as one goes to see the lions fed at a fair. The beautiful is not to be stared at, but to be lived with.”  — Thomas Babington Macaulay

What little I have read about Macaulay does not particularly impress me, but I think he’s given us an appealing description.  It sounds like a fine way to enjoy a beautiful Saturday in May.  I wish you lovely weather today, and at least a little time to ramble amidst the beauty of your particular part of the world.  If you see something you want to share, feel free to post links to a blog post or share a description in the comments below.  If you have a photo you’d like to share, send it to me at and I’ll post it here. Maybe beauty is not to be stared at, but I think it’s always appropriate to capture and share it with paintings and photos!  Happy rambling!

This post was originally published seven years ago today. How little any of us dreamed that, when this was re-posted in 2020, the entire world would recently have been shut down to one degree or another, with the freedom to ramble sharply curtailed in fear of disease and contagion. Here’s hoping that our global confinement ends soon– and that, whenever it ends, we will fully appreciate and enjoy the blessings we too often take for granted, never dreaming how easily they can be taken away. If the shutdown has ended in your part of the world– or even if it has not, and you are free to take walks outdoors– I encourage you to get outside for awhile today, with eyes sharpened and hearts opened in gratitude to all we could easily miss.

The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia!
    The first thing I thought when I saw this photo was that it deserves painting. Painting makes me slow down. Sometimes a photo just happens too quickly, and then it’s over, and tragically may never again be viewed (that’s why it’s called a snapshot?).
    On the other hand, I don’t have the skill to capture the actual beauty before me, especially by painting it.
    Your photo today doesn’t say “watercolor” to me, anyway. In fact, it makes me want to do a fingerpainting! Ha! Yes, it calls for something more immersive, like fingerpaints!

    • I do think that digital photography has caused us to take so many photographs that we never have time to actually go back and enjoy them all. I know that’s true in my case. Still, I like being able to know instantly whether the treasured shot was captured the way I intended. Those of us who used to do the old film/darkroom routine have many war stories about precious shots that were somehow lost, or never properly captured in the first place due to poor exposure, a malfunctioning lens, etc.

      • Very true!
        Or film damaged due to perils like … my little sister, who once threw my camera in the toilet! Mom said that she was too little to understand what she was doing, but years later she confessed!

        • Ah, the old “cut the younger sibling more slack” syndrome…I know it well! In my (admittedly biased) recollection, I was seldom the beneficiary of that myself, whilst my younger brother was constantly getting off the hook!

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