Tulips optional

The Dallas Arboretum's tulips lost their heads too early for the annual Dallas Blooms event, but Dallas went right on blooming. Sunday was that one day of absolutely perfect spring weather that Dallas is allotted annually, and a glimpse of the azaleas at the Masters in Augusta on the tube prodded me out to see the real thing..

The arboretum crowd strolled and strollered about speaking a musical array of languages, and wearing costumes as lovely as the garden beds. A person couldn't walk too fast lest they accidentally step into someone's photo shot. It seemed like everyone was taking a picture of someone or some flower. Rather than being an annoyance, everyone seemed to appreciate the opportunity to slow down, be courteous, and spend a moment being more observant.

I didn't see any dogs taking pictures, but people were taking pictures of their dogs by the snapdragons. Brides, their supportive entourages holding veils and dry-cleaner bags back behind the hedge, were being professionally photographed and causing major botanical detours. A cheerleader was posing all perky+plus by the cascading water curtain, while her photo shoot was interrupted by soggy kids playing tag through the fountains. Seersucker sunsuited babies were plunked down in every patch of color anchored by soggy Huggies while grandmothers performed ancient photo-enhancing say-cheese-&-watch-the-birdie dances.

An entire drill team was posing on the sloping lawn of the DeGolyer House next to that huge old live oak tree. I watched for awhile, but they didn't do any Kilgore Rangerette routines. Elderly brown women with dried apple faces and serene expressions flowed by in fabulous floral saris . Children in embroidered and sequined traditional ethnic costumes tried hard to be photogenic hoping to be rewarded with a refreshing run through the frog fountain.

I didn't see many young ladies posing for quinceanas portraits, but I saw girls in every possible pastel Easter dress sitting in the poppy bed waiting while their little brother wiped his nose on the sleeve of his sailor suit.

Best of all were the young people posing for engagement photos. Slender young girls posed in mid-kiss under wisteria-laden garden arches while pudgy young men wondered how in the hey-ho they got into this situation that required delicate fish kisses in front of hundreds of people. When they proposed marriage they probably weren't thinking of spending Sunday afternoons wearing a lemon sherbet yellow golf shirt in the very public gardens, right?

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