Thursday, May 31, 2012

Creature Comforts

Yes, this is yet another post about the wonderful things that I discovered on a trip to Chicago.  I'd bet that you never knew half of these things were tucked into that great big city, did you?  Today's post will NOT be about gardens.  It is going to be about things that you may find in a garden: butterflies.

Yep, butterflies.  After touring the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, someone (my mom) desperately needed a potty break.  So we wandered across the street to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum to assist her in her hour of need.  I people watched in the lobby, happy to enjoy the air conditioning for a minute or three, and caught the booming announcement of an imminent butterfly release in the special indoor butterfly habitat.  Once my mom emerged from the water closet, up the stairs we went and into the humid and lush butterfly house.

It was as if we had wandered into a handy rainforest.  Butterflies of every size and color floated about, wandering from feeding station to plant to hanging vines like little colored bits of feathery papers.  At one point, a massive black and brilliant blue butterfly perched on my hat.  Two little girls had multiple lacey black and white creatures land on their heads, making them look as though they had been bedecked with victorian hairbows.

Capturing them on film was a challenge, simply because they would not stay still.  They were joyous in flight, floating from one resting spot to another.  They seemed to enjoy interacting with the visitors as well, dancing around them and making the youngest squeal with delight.  (I came pretty close to squealing myself.)  After a while, the crowded conditions and high humidity drove us out in search of the cool breezes off the lake, so we left the butterflies behind. 

After all, I'll see some of their cousins in my own garden.  A beer and a Chicago-style hotdog at the lakeshore are a little harder to come by back at home.

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