Monday, March 28, 2011

Butterfly Dreams

"Excuse me sir, you have a butterfly on your butt,"

The remark came from a boy, about eight years old, who alerted me to that very problem Sunday afternoon.
A butterfly on a child's hand at the Montreal Botanical Gardens

The explanation is I was at the Montreal Botanical Garden's Butterflies Go Free event, which continues until April 25, in case you're interested.

It hasn't been much of a spring so far here in Vermont.  It's cold. The snow hasn't melted away like it often does by the end of March. The ground is frozen rock hard. The only spring beauties that have appeared around my house is a few pathetic, shivering crocuses crowding up against the sunny, south side of my house.

So it was off to Montreal, in part to find warmth, fragrances, flowers and tropical plants at the botanical gardens.
A flower enjoys sunshine in a Montreal Botanical
Gardens greenhouse.

The gardens are a photographer's paradise. The place was filled with camera toting families who probably collected a million Kodak moments in one day. Especially in the greenhouse with the butterflies.

The exhibit features hundreds of free-range butterflies flitting around a greenhouse filled with fragrant, colorful plants. I'm so winter-starved that I thought I'd died and went to heaven when I was in there.
A butterfly on a flower Sunday at the Montreal Botanical Gardens

I especially liked a particular kind of large butterfly. It was brown and somewhat dull, with markings on its wing looking like a huge eye when the wings were closed. The insects would then open their wings revealing a tropical blue surface that took your mind immediately to a tropical island paradise.

There were hazards of course. Both the butterfly and I survived the butt encounter the boy pointed out. "Sweet nectar," my companion, Jeff, said sarcastically at the incident.
Unusual flowers at the Montreal Botanical Gardens,

You had to watch out underfoot. Sometimes a butterfly would set down in your path, and I don't know if the Botanical Gardens shoot guests who kill their butterflies by stepping on them. Also, children scampered about, chasing butterflies, sometimes without looking for other hazards, like my leg or my camera lens aimed at a butterfly who refused to settle down and pose like a proper model.

Luckily, the Montreal Botanical Gardens survived my visit intact, which really is quite a feat. To the best of my knowledge, none of their plants wilted under my steely gaze, and I know I didn't knock any plants over. Which for me is quite an accomplishment.

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