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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Escaping Winter

I'm not complaining. Heck I was just saying how much I love the snow, so I'm not about to complain about it. But today, we hit the desert.
Then the tropics.
Okay, we actually went here.
Where is "here" exactly? It's the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. You won't see much sculpture since we didn't wander the outdoor gardens. They are still mostly under snow still. Which just means at some point in the coming months I will have more pictures for you all.
Because pictures I have. Hold on to your hats.
After all these years in Wyoming, you would think that I would be over cactus.
I mean, I've only pulled how many spines out of how many paws?
But they fascinate me. Especially their flowers.
That such a tough survivor still sends up beautifully delicate blossoms, just gets me on some level.
And their symmetry has it's own beauty.
Then you have the sub tropical deserts with their succulents.
And all the crafty ways they conserve water and deflect heat like the fine silver hairs on the above plants.
Then we have those crazy carnivorous plants...
See, it even has fangs on it's upper leaf! What kind of plants have fangs?
After checking out the blood thirsty plants we headed towards the victorian gardens and caterpillar room.
My mom always had the angel wing begonias growing up, though hers were never this bright or large. I think they were a different species because hers were always healthy.
The sign said this was a fern. Never seen fern like it before but it was neat.
What's a victorian garden with out a fountain? And it's a touch of sculpture...
Even I have to admit that this is a pretty pink.
As were these.
And yes, you read correctly, there was a caterpillar room. And why have caterpillars? Because when you go into the tropics, you have butterfly's of course.

These big blue ones are a favorite of mine. But dang I couldn't get a good picture of them. In flight they move to fast, and their underwings are very drab. They are very large butterfly's too.

These couple of shots are not particularly good pictures but I wanted to show how many butterfly's were around. When they are fluttering about though it is very hard to focus on them.

While taking this shot at a beautiful plant I was lucky to snap the next couple pictures. They aren't great shots but kind of a neat series.

And this one just to prove it's not a fake flutterby (one of my Mom's words).
However, I think the following one is my absolute favorite.
Don't know why, but I like the angle and the beautiful colors that came out as the sun broke through the clouds for a few minutes.
So, back to the pictures of just the beautiful tropical plants that Georgia O'Keefe liked to make look like lady parts.
Well, maybe not all of them. Even my imagination doesn't bend that far.

And I admit, the next couple loo more like boy parts...

And I admit, I just want to know what kind of fruit this is.
This was the trunk of the tree with that beautiful magenta fruit. Obviously, it protects its seeds.
There's no wondering what these are.
Bananas are kind of a universal thing.
The next couple I took for the contrast of the tropical humidity loving orchids in contrast to the winter through the window behind them. However, shooting into a brighter exterior caused some issues so I actually played with their color a bit on the computer to bring them back to what I remember the scene looking like in person.

I really try to only crop unwanted things out of my shots. Like several here where I got the tops of kids heads or someone else's camera's and hands in the shots. But I liked the concept so I brought up some of the sepia tones to bring the color back into the interior of the shots that the exterior light washed out. Forgive me.
Now, I know I said this was a sculptural park, and you may have noticed a couple items in the background, but let me put some of the pieces in the foreground. I liked these meerkats, but then I have always liked the spunky little animals.
And who doesn't like armadillos? Just make sure you don't play with the 9 banded armadillos, they carry the bacteria that causes leprosy.
Then there are a few larger pieces around the building. This one itself, is rather huge. I'm sorry this photo doesn't do a good job showing you it's sheer size.
And then there's Lena's Garden in the cafeteria.
You get a better idea in these of this installments size. The other one dwarfs these two.
Okay, that's enough for now of the gardens. I have a lot of pictures of the day, but these were the cream of the crop.

In other news, we made an offer on another house they have accepted it. The inspection happens tomorrow so fingers crossed, all goes well. This by no means it will happen but it's a step closer to being out of the apartment and into a place with a yard for the dogs. This is the place that I had originally found before we moved. We were able to get it at a more reasonable price. It sits on 3 acres, the last acre being completely fenced for the kids. They're excited, even if they don't know it.

The pictures of the house off the realty website are all copyrighted. I didn't realize it until I just went to post them, so I will post some when we get some of our own.

Okay, off to bed with me. I have to work tomorrow!


  1. What a great set of photos. Thanks for sharing them and I agree that your favorite is probably the best of the bunch: That backlit leaf against the main picture is awesome. Here's hoping all goes well on the house and I'm glad to hear that it is one you liked even before you moved to Michigan. And at a better price, too! Best regards to all - Joe.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing the wonderful photos! Nice to see plants and flowers again! Good luck on the house!

  3. Kim ( Birdyslove)March 10, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    YAY! made it out to the Gardens! Great place, isn't it? As usual your photos are spectacular! Hope to hear good news on the house..sounds like it is perfect. Do you have any type of a regular schedule at the yarn shop? K

  4. gardens looks like a great spot. i had several staghorn ferns when i lived in California...loved them!! fingers crossed that all goes great on the house. jeff king out of white mountain...looks like it's gonna be his year.