Sunday, July 14, 2013

Butterflies LIVE

I still remember the first time our family discovered Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, Virginia.  For our 23rd wedding anniversary, my husband, in his typical thoughtful way, offered, "I'll take you anywhere you'd like to go to celebrate."  We'd often driven by the small brown sign pointing the way to the gardens just off of Route 1, and as we zipped by I wondered what beauty might await  just a turn off the highway.  I remembered vacations from my childhood when my family went to Florida and we visited the famous Cypress Gardens.  While I doubted there would be Southern Belles in hoop skirts strolling about these Botanical Gardens, still my memories of those family trips were so sweet . . . I am always drawn to a garden.

On that sunny day in July 2004, as we entered the garden, I felt a sense of belonging.  Meandering the paths, soaking up sunshine, and basking in the sweet scent of roses, I felt at home.  And I've felt that same way on every trip since.  No anniversary passes that we do not visit the gardens and fall in love all over again - with the gardens and with each other, too.

Visit the gardens soon for a special exhibit - Butterflies LIVE.  In the north wing of the Conservatory, butterflies from all over the world fly and flit and roost. They swirl, twirl, loop, and if you're lucky they perch upon you - as they did on our sixteen year old who was wearing a partciularly attractive blue shirt.  We now call him the "butterfly whisperer."  Walking amongst the butterflies in the lushness of the garden conservatory is magical, and we all need a little magic and wonder and awe in this life.

Butterfly and Marigolds

Water lily and water droplets on glass conservatory

leaf edge and black and white butterfly

hanging butterfly and lily pads

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