Monday, April 9, 2012

Down in the Selby Gardens*

It has been really hot here on the Gulf Coast the last few weeks, far too hot to be at the beach during the middle of the day. (I know: boo hoo, poor me.) So one day last week, I went to visit the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, which was definitely a lot cooler place to be, both literally and metaphorically. (Bad pun, sorry! I am out of practice with blogging.)

Their website describes the gardens as "an open-air and under-glass museum of thousands of colorful and exotics plants. Many of these plants have been collected from the wild on more than 200 scientific expeditions to tropical rain forests by Selby Gardens research staff." This doesn't do the place justice - it is orchid heaven!! There is a whole green house full of orchids, and then there is an outdoor rain forest of sorts with a waterfall and orchids growing up in the nooks of the trees! It was really something. Here are some of my photos so that you can get a look.

Orchids Orchid
Orchid Orchid

Orchid Buddha and koi Pitcher Plant

Hibiscus Banyan tree
Waterfall Orchid

Part of the gardens is a designated butterfly garden. (The plantings there are chosen specifically to attract butterflies.) There were a several of them flying around very quickly, which made it difficult to get a good photograph of them feeding on the flowers.

Monarch butterfly

We did get to see this male Monarch butterfly that had *just* come out of its chrysalis. One of the volunteers helped the little guy by putting it on this bush so that he could dry out his wings.(Very shortly thereafter, he had his first amorous adventure with another male butterfly. And they say it isn't natural...) ;-)

*Another bad pun, sorry fans of Irish traditional music!

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