Montana and Wisconsin flowers or, what I did on my summer vacation!

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“Butterflies are self propelled flowers”

Title quote by R.H. Heinlein

Today we visited the Butterfly Pavilion for the first time.  It’s pretty cool.  Bugs, spiders and other creepy crawlies thrive in (safe and secure) glass boxes under warm lights.  Colorful fish, crustaceans and other wiggly, swimming, little sea creatures pass the time in what appear to be giant fishbowls.  Brave little kids let a scary, hairy tarantula named Rosie, crawl on their hands.  (I get the shivers just thinking about it.)  I put on my big-girl pants and touched a big horseshoe crab (only for a second and with permission).

My favorite part of our visit was the Wings of the Tropics exhibit:  a lush, humid, tropical garden filled with exotic plants and flowers with graceful curves and seductive swoops that have names I can’t pronounce without great effort.  The tropical colors are incredible…bright reds, pinks and fuschias, deep velvety greens, electric blues, brilliant yellows and warm golds.  A gentle mist filters into the garden keeping both sturdy plant leaves and fragile flower petals blanketed in sparkling diamonds of water drops.

Most incredible though are the beautiful, fluttering butterflies that fill the air.  Their colorful wings propel them silently about like hosts of swirling angels.  Sometimes you can’t even see them; nevertheless, you know they’re there.  If you’re lucky, one will alight on your sleeve.  Like being kissed by an angel.

Focus on nature

The Denver Botanic Gardens is a local destination.  It’s almost in my front yard.  I’ve visited before.  But not like today.

Today I tried to focus on something different.  Focus itself.

Focused attention?  No.  I was totally paying attention.  I was in the moment, to be sure.

I was trying to focus my camera on nature…all at once:  photographic composition, proper exposure and technical execution, exquisite light quality, artistic expression, contrast of color, texture, and emotion, etc.

Well, that’s nuts.

Nature doesn’t work that way.  Nature happens in moments.  Sometimes the moments happen in color, or not.  Sometimes nature’s moments are a contrast in light or texture.   Sometimes nature is not at all artstic.  At other times, nature’s moments are elusive or ambiguous.  And sometimes, the best of nature’s moments are unfocused.

Stop squinting.