The city I live in has a small tropical conservatory. They run various shows in it, each lasting a month or so. The day before Easter, my father and I went to their annual butterfly show. Butterflies of several species were kept in a small enclosure within the conservatory. Only a limited number of people could go in at a time.
While there, we also looked around the plants in the conservatory. This one caught my eye. The Heliconia, or lobster-claw, is colorful and has an interesting form.
Of course there were Koi as well. It seems like there are Koi all over now. Some places you can even buy Koi food and feed them. When I was little, we used to feed the ducks bread in the same park the conservatory now sits in. There aren’t as many ducks around these days, and no one wants you feeding wild animals. The new conservatory is impressive, and I do enjoy it. However, I sometimes long for the simplicity of the old lagoon full of ducks. This koi is kind of cute though.
I hope I can get out and photograph some spring flowers. Weather has been up and down here. 70+ and sunny, rain, and a snowstorm last weekend.
I’ve had an exceptionally busy week, so unfortunately, this post is late. It is also archive that I’ve been saving for a time like this. When I was in Michigan visiting family and the Sleeping Bear Dunes, I also visited the butterfly house in Traverse City. It was not quite ready to open at that point. My uncle works for the local MSU extension office in the area. As a result, he and my aunt got to know the young couple who own and run the butterfly house.
Unfortunately, we arrived on a sad day for them. Many of their butterflies had died due to pesticides. I did not realize this, but most plants purchased at greenhouses and box stores have pesticides on them or in the soil. These pesticides kill butterflies as well as undesirable insects. Of course, the owners of the butterfly house knew this. They had asked the company they purchased the plants from specific questions about pesticides. However, the answers they got did not match with the plants they got. Fortunately, not all of the butterflies were out of their cocoons yet, and all of the fruit feeding butterflies were fine.
They look rather drab on the outside, but inside, these butterflies have brilliant blue wings.
I did not touch the butterflies. They are delicate, and you have to know how to handle them so as not to hurt them. Others in our group did know how and had permission.
The butterflies can and do land on people. They have signs on the way out of the enclosure asking guests to check for hitchhikers. Since my dad is a quite and steady type, the butterflies liked him.
Despite the sad death of some of the butterflies that day, I enjoyed visiting the butterfly house and photographing the butterflies. Perhaps I will be able to go back someday or visit another butterfly house. In the meantime, I should do some pesticide research.
Next Time: End of Archive?
I’ve a three-day weekend coming up, so hopefully I’ll be able to shoot something.
I hate to say it, but summer is getting towards the end. Back to school is plastered everywhere, days are getting shorter, and vegetation is starting to dry up. Looking about my yard, I became quite depressed with the state of things, so I headed off to the local nature preserve in hopes of something better. There are a few more plants at the preserve, not to mention butterflies and other wildlife. I even saw a rabbit who was good enough to sit still for me.
I spent a lot of time chasing butterflies around the park. I guess I just wanted a challenge.
Most of the flowers have faded. This dying Queen Anne’s lace has an intricate design and interesting shape. I thought of several things to compare it to, but I won’t force a suggestion or limit anyone’s imagination.
Summer’s not over yet. Get out and enjoy what’s left of it!
Next Week: Jenny, probably
She’s such a pretty cat, and when she’s in the right mood she’s a great subject.
It’s spring in the midwest. Rains pour frequently, and when it’s sunny, winds still blow. The first flowers are finally out. In my yard, the daffodils unfold for spring, brining their bright yellow hue to the rain and clouds around us. A welcome contrast.
In the woods, there are also flowers. Untamed by man, nature’s wild charms adorn an otherwise plain scene. These small yellow flowers are about the size of your thumbnail.
Slightly larger white wildflowers grow in clumps around trees.
Nearby, the ground is covered with strange leafy vegetation. Yet there is something oddly familiar about those leaves. The flowers tell all. These plants appear to be the wild cousin of my beloved bleeding heart bush. However, their flowers look a bit more like butterflies than hearts sometimes.
These wildflowers are out in bloom before most of their tame counterparts, daring the snow and frost and showing the strength of their beauty. They are proof that wild beauty is natural and tough.
Next Week: Vases 2
Time to get back to indoor shots. As I mentioned last week, someone I know would like a couple of vases photographed.