Chihuly at the Desert Botanical Garden
Just before leaving home I nabbed the very last ticket for a special evening party with live music and local foods – and a chance to photograph the garden at night.
So now I am at the garden. It is 5 p.m. and I have a few hours in which to photograph the gardens before sunset.
I head for the party when the light gets too weird. There is a country blues band and wine and food. It’s pretty crowded, but I find a spot to sit and end up chatting with a couple from the Phoenix area, but with ties to the Upper Midwest. (Everyone has something in common with everyone if you just look for it.) It’s so pleasant visiting with them and listening to the music that I’m a bit slow to get back to my photography once the sun has dropped from the sky and the glass begins glowing under the garden lights.
Wandering through the garden at night is a very different experience from being there during the day. Only the plants and the glass are lit, leaving darkness in all the spaces between. The world becomes bolder, mysterious, and other-worldly; a place where you’re not sure exactly what you are seeing and where people appear and disappear into the darkness like ghosts.