Having a Picnic at the Arboretum

Last weekend, we had a bit of a bright spot in our otherwise isolated lives.  Finding ways to see people safely can be challenge these days.  We planned a picnic with social distance to get a few of our car club buddies together.  Unfortunately, none of our MINI friends we personally invited could make it, but we did have a nice group of new club members come that we enjoyed meeting.  The morning was overcast, and there was a bit of rain, but we knew it would blow over.  The MINIs all parked with spaces between so we could have a picnic with good social distance.  We could walk around and chat, keeping six feet away from each other.

Minis drive

After most of the people that had signed up to come had arrived, we went to the gardens to walk on our own, and see the flowers and Lego sculptures.  We could go inside the Baker Center with a mask for restrooms, but the exhibit area was still closed.


The same artist did an exhibit of these four years ago, and I posted about them on An Unusual Exhibit.  There are over 100 sculptures in Sean Kenney’s series Nature Connects, and 14 of them are here for an outdoor exhibit that will run through summer.  Two of the sculptures were here before, and 12 were new to us. The Dragonfly is over 8 feet long and has 27,788 legos.  Awesome detail on huge wings.

Lego dragonfly

The Peacock has 68,827 legos, and stood just over five feet tall, and five feet wide.  Just look at the amazing artistry, it looks so true to life.

lego peacock

The Hummingbird is one of the returning sculptures, with an astonishing 61,107 legos, standing 6 feet high and over five feet long.  There are more pictures and some closeups on my previous post on the exhibit four years ago.

Lego hummingbird

The Pansy with its bumblebee was 4 feet high containing 29,314 legos.

lego pansy bee

I know this one will creep some of you out.  The Corn Spider, a frequent visitor in our woods, was 3 feet wide and five feet tall, with 16,492 legos.  It was hanging in a tree, and quite a surprise!

lego spider

There were two deer sculptures.  First was this doe and fawn with 37,879 legos, standing 4 feet high and six feet long. The amount of detail is amazing.

lego doe fawn

The companion buck stood over six feet tall, with 46,563 legos.

lego buck

After walking around for about an hour, we came back to the cars for lunch.  We had our own chairs and sat between the cars keeping good space between everyone.  We could chat for a bit, and then go visit another group, standing in front of the cars to chat with those sitting.  Doesn’t a sandwich just taste better in a fun red basket with festive checked paper? It reminds me of the drive-in diners of yesteryear, and a fun way to serve our lunch at a car club event.


When we were finished with lunch, we led a short drive, here leaving the Arboretum and headed to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Minis drive1

Half an hour later, we stopped for a photo op at an overlook.  We had nine MINIs in all.

Minis drive2

The mountains were shrouded in mist, and it was very quiet.

Minis drive3

We continued our drive down Hwy 276 through the Pisgah Forest past Lookout Falls.  Then everyone headed their own way home.

Minis drive4

This was a nice day, and nice to do something closer to normal.  This past week has been a bit trying, but I hope to get some sewing/crafting back on the calendar soon.  I think My Sweet Babboo has solved the issue with my longarm, so I’ll reload the dahlia panel this week to continue.  I am still just not very motivated, but hopefully some fun things coming up will get me in a better mood.

How are things going in your part of the world?

33 thoughts on “Having a Picnic at the Arboretum

  1. karenfae

    I saw an exhibit of art made with Lego’s years ago someplace and don’t remember were it was but it was amazing — that was a great way to get in a visit with friends and get out of the house for awhile – we have mainly been staying home but really need to get out more

  2. kattails

    Those lego sculptures are amazing…they sure put my 2 grandson’s lego creations to shame! (They are only 7 and 8, though). I love your eye for photography. The shot from your side mirror is quite stunning. I’m so glad you had a good day out. Things here are probably a lot better than at most places….not a lot has really changed. But what has changed is giving me fits! I am not adjusting well to the “new normal”. I haven’t felt this rebellious since my teenage years….(which pretty much amounted to wanting my ears pierced and shaggy hair!!!) lol. Have a great Sunday.

  3. thatfabricfeelingcom

    This sounds soooo fun! I love seeing your mini-cooper adventures each year. The lego is the icing on the cake but how lovely to get out and try to revisit your usual mini trips. I’m so excited to see the sculptures cause there’s no way to see them in person from here in New Jersey. Lovely day and thanks so much for the posting to share it with us all.

  4. Mary Stori

    Sounds like a good activity to enjoy our friends, cars, and the beauty of Western North Carolina.

  5. What a wonderful outing you had yesterday Carole. Our Arboretum is open with the same restrictions as you have, but it’s just way too hot (mid 90’s) for us to be out for any length of time. About the only thing I do outside is water and feed the flowers and veggies. This lengthy hot spell we’re having is already a week long, with another week of 90+ and even 100, predicted for another week, along with the fact that we have air quality alerts. I know what you mean about the motivation being almost non-existent,
    since mine has done the same. I did watch a very good and funny show with Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin, on Netflix this past week though. It’s The Kominsky Method, and is a series of episodes, of which there are 2 seasons available to watch. I laughed my way through the first 2 seasons in 2 days, and am looking forward to the final series in October. I think it’s something you and your sweet Babboo would really enjoy watching it together.

    1. Sally

      Oh, we have so enjoyed The Kaminsky Method too! Just sorry there’s only one more season….

  6. Rita C.

    This was a nice break from humdrum. The lego sculptures are terrific! I love the hummingbird and the bee on pansy.
    This past week has been a little trying for me as well, self-quarantining after getting a traceback call from a person who’s dealing with COVID with whom I was in close contact with (we were both wearing masks). Tomorrow is day 10 for me, and I’ll get tested, though I’ve had no symptoms. She has dealt with mostly fever and fatigue for 8 straight days, 24/7. Even when doing things right, it can strike. We can’t let our guard down.
    Have a good week.

  7. That sounds like a fun and safe outing! I think “going for a drive” has gotten much more popular these days. The lego sculptures are really amazing, too! Thanks for sharing your photos, Carole!

  8. Melissa Mathews

    Carole, do you know how long the exhibit of Lego statuary will be in place? My Grands in Hendersonville would certainly enjoy seeing those!

  9. Sharon Vrooman

    This looks like an awesome time – fun and safe. Thank you for sharing your adventure with us.

  10. I am always stunned at what can be down with Lego! Loved those photos, and glad you had a real outing! This has not been he greatest week here, either, DH is having a hard time and I think our AC has possibly died. It was quite sudden, so maybe there’s a less expensive fix, but it is 20+ years old. We don’t run it that much, so I’m hoping we don’t have to replace it. 😬

  11. Lesley Gilbert

    Lots of great photo’s to look at & loved seeing all the British Mini’s, of course 🙂

  12. Patricia Evans

    The Lego exhibit is amazing. I think I remember your photos from the previous one. I have not been getting any quilting done due to lack of motivation and too much heat and no air conditioning. It’s been unusually hot here in western NY and we’re due for 6 days of over 90 and no rain in sight, I have to haul bucket of water to water the annuals and it’s getting tiresome. The uncertainty of when this all might end is really wearing heavily on me.

  13. How nice to get out, go for a drive, meet new people and feel a little “normal”. I understand the lack of motivation. I have the backing for my Allietare on the big table, and just need to trim it and get it in the mail with the top for long arming by the OneBlockWonderWoman. Haven’t been in the sewing room all week. Day 4 of vertigo, but at least I can finally sit up a little. Your lunch looked wonderful. I’m low on food ideas, tired of cooking and want to GO OUT to eat. Our area is a tourist destination, and we are avoiding going places because of the travelers. 😦 Thank you for the wonderful photos. I love the peacock!

  14. Jennifer Rauch

    Such an enjoyable post! Peackock of Legos was awesome – even attracted nearby hubby to come see when I gasped! I’ve been wanting to get back to Asheville to see some things you’ve mentioned, but just can’t justify the risks & what-ifs. So, we stay home & I’m making cards. Discovered some scraps from “regular” size cards make cute minis to hand out to the Meals on Wheels recipients, using beautiful &/or funny pictures cut from ads & travel brochures – lighthouses, gardens, critters. We’re new at this, but the recipients all gave a smile & waved when hubby told them “My wife made you a card”. Next delivery will be a different route, but eventually I guess we’ll meet the folks on all 3 & have new friends when we can remove our masks! Had a funk day, then hunkered down when I got the idea to give these cards, which raised my spirits too. DEEEP breath, & steady again for renewed stance against this damn virus!

  15. KJ

    So glad you were able to get out in the cars for a visit and drive. Those Lego sculptures are absolutely amazing.

  16. Julie

    Thanks so much for the fun & different outing. The sculptures were delightful, so colorful. As are the Minis. I use those baskets & checkerboard papers for summer picnics too, & occasionally in winter at a “Mom’s Diner” indoor lunch. I have a baby quilt to complete, top & back are done & it’s nice & cool in my downstairs sewing room. Blazing hot elsewhere. We’ve had a long stretch of sunshine & dry weather, so warm you really need to get out at daybreak for your exercise.

    1. Susan T

      Thanks for the share. These are stunning. What talent. I love spiders so that was my favorite. I went back to the previous post you mentioned to enjoy the other LEGO builds. I try to sew, quilt or machine embroidery every day but that never seems to work out for me. I have never had my sewing mojo leave and I hope your recover yours soon.

  17. Joan Sheppard

    Missed you this week – thanks for the Mini Tour! Looks fun! I have 2 Lego Maniacs age 5 and 6 and what they can do!!!! Starting on motorized things now. Just found a new mask pattern and made 20 of them yesterday, took longer to collect the fabric with the perfect pattern for each person than it took to make! And now have requests for 5 more. Thanks to your inspiration I have free motion quilted 2 more small quilts. One even has a (sort of) rose pattern. Family is having a Christening today streamed over the internet so in Chicago I can be part of the celebration in Baltimore! Too hot to do anything but hide in the sewing room!

  18. Frieda Cooper

    Hello from Texas
    Love all your posts even if I am not the talented seamstress that you are.
    Question about the LEGO sculptures Are they glued together so they don’t have to be re-assembled?
    Thanks so much and keep on blogging!!
    Frieda Cooper

    1. Sally

      I wondered if they were glued too! Carole, maybe you can respond to this in the blog so we will all know! I bet a lot of people wondered about this.

  19. How wonderful and those sculptures are amazing! Yes sandwiches always taste better in red checkered paper (I think this is a scientific fact…smile). Sounds like a great outing!

  20. Nancy Hager

    It looks like it was a lovely time. Love the lego sculptures!
    6 weeks ago I fell while grocery shopping. Stepped on a cherry someone had dropped in the produce department. It was a bad fall and i broke my arm at the top of the humerus. I ended up having a reverse total shoulder replacement almost 4 weeks ago. Yes because of CoVID-19 I had to wait two weeks. There has been absolutely no sewing going on as the arm has to be immobilized for 6 weeks at least. Ice is my friend. I would highly recommend the Polar Care Cube to anyone having surgery.
    I have been reading some cozy mysteries. Light is about all I can do right now. Mostly because the actually reading material must be light with only one hand to hold it. If it had not been my dominant hand i might have been able to do hand work but i am feeling lucky that i can feed myself so i will not complain to much. My poor husband is feeling a bit of compassion fatigue so a friend is coming over tomorrow to keep me hydrated and feed while he takes a break.
    Today we had a lovely sunny afternoon so I sat on our patio for a while today. That has been about the extend of my outings since I was injured. I am afraid that my flowers have not faired well while I was unable to care for them.

  21. Melanie

    What a nice outing! Colorful displays, a social lunch (remember soap box lunches?) with club members, a caravan ride through the hills, fresh air and getting out and about. I hate spiders, but the corn spider didn’t gross me out; he’s kinda cute. Lots of artistic talent in those displays.I sewed some Americana items for July. Trying to keep on keepin’ on, as the saying goes.

  22. Nancy Roberts

    I am so impressed with how your group managed this outing safely and yet packed with fun and beauty. Well done. I just read that the only way to resolve the virus issue is to mitigate- you mitigated and still managed to socialize. A lovely day, and oh, those sculptures!

  23. kathyinozarks

    Wow those lego sculptures are amazing! Nice way to get out of the house and enjoy visiting with people-you had a nice set up for the social distancing too. Loved your details for your lunch. great photos-Happy new week Kathy

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