Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Butterfly Ballet

"Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine."

-Jefferey Glassberg

Yesterday, Alan and I went to San Francisco, to the Conservatory of Flowers, to visit the newest exhibit, The Butterfly Zone. It was nothing short of enchanting. Imagine if you will, different varieties of beautiful, delicate, graceful little butterflies, happily fluttering about, from flower to flower, and perhaps maybe even landing on your shoulder, just to make you smile. That is exactly what it was like. I have been waiting for this exhibit to make it's way back to the conservatory, since 2006. It has been a long wait, but it was very much worth it, because if possible, this year's exhibit is even more lovely then the one in 2006!

The conservatory has made a few changes for the butterflies, which I think are perfect and delightful. First of all, I noticed a much bigger variety of flowers for them to enjoy, and which also delighted this girl, because when I photograph them, I am sometimes just as fascinated by the flower the butterfly is enjoying, as I am in the details of the butterfly itself. If possible, I like to show the entire flower, as well as the butterfly. Sometimes, it is more interesting to show just the tops of the flowers, especially if the butterflies are large enough to cover the top of the blossom. When you can get both, it's twice as nice. :)

It was an amazingly beautiful way to spend an afternoon. Alan knew how much I had been looking forward to our visit there, and surprised me with the purchase of a Safari Pass. Now all our future visits are already paid for, which is nice, because I am planning on visiting as much as possible this year.

Gas prices have gotten so out of hand, that I, like most folks, have had to give up a lot of my recreation. I do what I have to do, but I can't give this up. Nope. Won't do it. If I have to do without something else in life, so be it, it's worth it to be able to see this beauty every couple weeks or so. Besides, one of the new features of the exhibit is a new nighttime safari, to see the Luna Moths after dark. I am really looking forward to that. I got my flashlight all ready, now I just need to practice up on some night photography! I want to be ready to capture their soft green glow. I am so excited about stepping up to this new challenge. Wish me luck.

Butterfly Ballet...

Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Great Southern White (Ascia monuste)

Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) My favorite butterfly to photograph!

Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charitonius)

Luna Moth (Actias luna)

One sad moment. I found this little moth, deceased, and missing the bottom section of it's wings. :( Made me want to cry. I noticed a lot of folks yesterday trying to capture butterflies out of the air. Touching them is strongly frowned upon. I wish visitors would try to understand that not only is it against the rules, but it is such a shame to see someone assaulting these lovely, delicate creatures. It is one thing if they land on your person, and escort you around, but touching them on purpose just isn't a good idea. By the way, that gorgeous orange butterfly you see at the top of the entry is a Julia (Drayas julia) isn't she gorgeous?! :)

Conservatory Of Flowers

Julia Dryas julia
Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
March 26, 2008


Nancy said...

Wonderful post, Carly. I've been to one butterfly "ballet" and it was just that. You described it perfectly...and your photos are out of this world.

What camera did you use??


Carly said...

Hi Nancy :)

I have a Minolta DImage Z1 35mm digital, with a x10 optical zoom. :) It's a fun little camera.

Suzanne R said...

I wish we had something like this in my area. I love butterflies! I cringed at your description of people trying to catch them. I can just imagine the gentle way in which you treat them, and they seem to reward you by letting you take awesome pictures of them. :-)


fdtate said...

Ooh! Ahh! Some great pictures as usual, Carly. Loving them all!

Steven said...

Photos to drool over :-) The poor luna moth is so pretty. I know how you feel with people wanting to catch the butterflies. I can't wait until I see butterflies again.