A few weeks ago I went to a butterfly garden for the first time. With winter chill still in the air, I felt the need to see that there was still green and vibrant life somewhere nearby, and since Spring was technically still weeks away, I didn't think I could wait that long.
Visiting this garden was just what I needed. The garden stays at 80-85 degrees for the comfort of all the creatures there; butterflies, quail, finches, and a pond with Koi fish. There are beautiful plants and trees, soft music playing in the background, and butterflies darting about.
If it wasn't for inability to get used to said temperature (after spending so many months growing accustomed to freezing weather) I would have stayed all day. Luckily I didn't really feel the heat until about 2 hours in when I realized I'd come in wearing jeans, boots, and a long sleeve shirt, (the heavy sweater was thrown in my bag the instant I walked inside) and could feel the back of my neck getting damp. Needless to say, next time I visit, I'll dress to the occasion (swimsuit perhaps?...that may be going too far...).
I spent a good majority of my time following a specific butterfly with bright blue wings, trying to capture it landing on anything so I could take a picture. I never realized how fast and dart-y those little guys are until I went to hit the shutter button and it was already gone. I may or may not have looked a little strange, walking around with my camera to my eye, darting and weaving in similar fashion to the creature I was focused on getting an image of.
Long story short, I didn't get a shot of that specific one (too many other people blocking my way, and it probably wouldn't go over well to knock kids over in my attempts to follow the streak of blue), but I did find one from the same species (though not as big as the one I was chasing) just sitting on a bench, waiting for someone to take a picture (I obliged him).
This little trip felt like a mini-tropical-vacation (especially having just walked past snowbanks on my way into the building), and much needed at that.
I'm seriously contemplating putting a garden together this year for vegetables, and adding some specific flowers bushes nearby to attract these flying visitors (other flying visitors can stay away - aka: mosquitoes... you are unwelcome in my garden and/or general vicinity).
Perhaps a trip to more places like this (or actual tropical locations) is in order soon...I wouldn't be opposed to spending some time in the sun, surrounded by color and life.
Who else is itching for warmer weather?!