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Dolly's Big Adventure

Friday, August 09, 2013

WOW - what a week! Such a combination of Health, Medical and Social. . .need the weekend so I can take a break!

And. . .finally. . .after almost a week of waiting. . .here it is. . Dolly's Big Adventure. . .which started with a 40 minute drive - there were no more hints than those given before departure:

1. Wear sturdy shoes
2. Wear comfy indoor clothing
3. Expect to be gone 2-3 hrs

I could think of nothing I had been talking about so far away or in the direction we were headed so I continued 'in the dark' the whole way.

As we pulled off the freeway, I noted we were entering the Indian Reservation, and, as is my wont, I read signs by the road commenting on a future Aquarium, etc. pointing out surrounding buildings. . . and spied our destination though I hadn't yet made the connection.

I had just started prattling that I'd seen an article at ground-breaking about the business just down the road, had totally forgotten it was out there, yada, yada, yada. . .and, then, we turned into that building's parking lot. . . to the Butterfly Wonderland, a Rainforest Experience!

This is the largest Butterfly Atrium in the United States and the 2nd largest in the whole world! I couldn't decide where to spend more time - in the Butterfly Emergence Gallery or in the 10,000 sf Rainforest Atrium filled with thousands of Butterflies. . .a REAL quandry!

The experience begins with a 3-D film, 'Flight of the Butterflies', which was amazing. I felt like I was standing in fields of Butterflies - actually flinching as a Butterfly surprised me flying directly across my face! We were following, specifically, the Monarch Butterfly through it's 3 generation 'annual migration' from Texas to Northern US climes (1st gen), then on to the Toronto area (2nd gen) for the Summer then down to winter over in Mexico (3rd gen) before heading back to Texas to start the cycle once again.

I stayed in the Butterfly Emergence Gallery thru 2 full 'tour groups' - I LUV that they allow peeps to manage their own visit. I have several pics of Butterflies in the process of exiting their chrysallis. And, I was surprised to learn how very many types of of chrysallis there are! I know there are many different butterlies but somehow assumed they all grow in the 'same' chrysallis. . .actually, never gave it any thought.

I've NO idea how long I stayed in the Rainforest Atrium. . .SO MANY beautiful Butterflies! From all over the world! DH was so, so patient. . .both stepping away to get pics I might like and so I wouldn't feel presurred to 'move on' then returning to take pics of me with Butterflies 'taking a break' on me. I wore a light lavendar blouse with small lavendar-colored flower print and sported a bright purple flower-shaped hair claw. . .I think they mis-took me for a gargantuan flower casue some Butterflies appeared to be trying to gather nectar from my blouse!

And, of course, there was the beautiful plant life - a GREAT background for all of the colorful Butterflies. I liked, in particular, the flowering Magnolias. They reminded me of my Mother and her Magnolia trees - she just loved those trees!

After a quick water break - a lot of perspiring going on in the Rainforest Atrium - and some chatter about what we'd seen, we moved into the three other nature displays (Ant Farms / Honey Bee Colonies / Amazon Aquatic Display) - all very nice (they actually had a glass tunnel for the bees to exit the building and return with nectar to build their honeycombs - VERY active lil buggers!) - before traipsing through the gift shop.

While it was difficult, I managed to stick to my new decor resolution - if I'm not 'filling a hole' or 'have a plan in place', I may NOT just buy all the cutie stuff in the gift shop. . .that has been my habit in the past and I wind up with tons of stuff I eventually wind up giving away or putting in a yard sale.

Took me four days to download my many, many pics (I killed two batts taking pics - good thing DH had brought extras) as well as DH's pics. After culling thru them discarding those that were blurry or empty (those lil buggers fly away REAL fast), I retained 194 pics. . .I don't even want to KNOW how many pics I started with.

You'll see some of my pics over time as my Avatar and I've put a few on my Sparkpage (check out the monster on my background!). Here are a few more to entertain you:

A couple cuties checking out my hair claw

Several butterflies mistook me for a gargantuan flower

This one gave me a fright

Here's a 'new-born'

And, here's an 'almost-born'

An intricate though drab pattern on the exterior. . .do you see the hint of beautiful color on the interior of the wing?

Catching some rays. . very appropriate here in the Valley of the Sun

So very many lovely lovelies - difficult to select which to share. . .keep an eye on my Sparkpage as I'll be switching out my Butterfly pics.


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • HMJ5053
    Sound like a great experience. How nice how it was a surprise for you.
    1655 days ago
    Oh I love your pictures! I was at a butterfly exhibit once but you got the best pictures!!
    1715 days ago
  • TEKRU1
    How fun! What a great surprise and you deserved it!
    1715 days ago
    Sounds like an amazing time!!!
    1715 days ago
    Beautiful experience for you ~ and us as well ~ Thank You!
    1715 days ago
  • COOKIE_AT_51
    How fun and cool ... LOVE the pictures! emoticon Can't wait to see more pictures!

    1715 days ago
    How wonderful! What a great adventure. Two of my dogs are Papillons - the French word for butterfly because their beautiful ears with the fringes of hair cascading down resemble the spread wings of a butterfly.
    1716 days ago
    Oh my that sounds like an amazing experience! I love butterfly houses and I've been to a few of them, but that one sounds much bigger than any I've been too. Very very cool. Your pictures are amazing!
    1716 days ago
    Dolly, what a wonderful surprise and how romantic of DH to think of it. I can only imagine what an experience this was!

    1716 days ago
    What a cool experience! Thanks for sharing. emoticon
    1716 days ago

    They are so beautiful! I am so happy you had a wonderful time! Will be looking for some more !
    emoticon emoticon
    Mary Ann
    1716 days ago
    What a wonderful experience! I have been to the Butterfly houses in Niagara Falls and here at University of Florida and anytime with the butterflies I have found completely magical. And your photos are awesome! Can't wait to see more of the 194 :-)

    Thanks for sharing!
    1717 days ago
    What a wonderful experience! Thank you for telling us about it : )
    1717 days ago
    Dolly what a most wonderful trip to be surprised with......there is a beautiful butterfly place in Branson, MO but we have yet to visit it with all the other stuff there. Now I want to go tomorrow............ha I remember visiting my great great Aunt one year with my Mom and her sister and we got up and went out into her grove of apple trees and just at the right instant the Monarch butterflies took flight and we were surrounded by them flying in all directions, it must have lasted about 5 minutes and my Great Great Aunt Johnnie said it happened every year. Unfortunately she did not tell us to bring our camera's and we got NO pictures. Never went back at that time to visit again. But I will never forget those beautiful butterflies.

    Thank you for bringing back such a wonderful childhood memory. And I look forward to seeing more and more of the beautiful pictures. emoticon
    1717 days ago
    Beautiful pictures. I love butterflies. When I see a white one I know I am on the right path in my life. So glad you had fun. I would have moved in and never left LOL.
    1717 days ago
  • KIKA07DK
    What a FUNderful experience!! And those photos are AH-MAY-ZING!!!
    1717 days ago
    So awesome! I love going to butterfly houses. It may be a little humid there, but oh, so peaceful and actually very exciting. I'm so glad you had a wonderful surprise trip that was enjoyable!
    1717 days ago
    Dolly that looks absolutely fabulous I am so glad you had such a wonderful time !
    1717 days ago
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