The Butterfly Pavilion, and Rosie

Yesterday, Friday, Janyary 29, 2011, was a beautiful day for a trip to the tropics.  We packed our car (with snacks and drinks), and embarked on the one hour trip to the Butterfly Pavilion.

We have lived here six years now, and had never heard of it.  Once I did,  as a photographer, a visit had to be planned.  Actually it was more like “You want to go?”, “I dunno.  You want to go?”, “Sure, let’s go.”

It was very enjoyable.  For one thing, we got to hold a Tarantula.  Tarantula?  Sure, her name is Rosie, and she is part of the education program at the Pavilion.  There is a room dedicated to spider, roaches, centipedes, and other crawly things.  As part of the education, a very nice man sits in a corner with a Tarantula crawling around on his arms and chest.

Rosie on my hand
Rosie on my hand

For those brave (or curious) enough, you can sit across from him, he will hold your hand (to ensure you don’t jerk it and make Rosie fall to the ground), and place Rosie near the rear part of the palm.  Rosie then calmly walks back to his shirt.  It only lasts a few seconds, but the memory will last much, much longer.

I held Rosie Sticker
When done, you get a "I held Rosie" sticker.

From spiders you move onto a display about the sea, where you can touch a starfish, a horseshoe crabs, look at some lobsters, and a number of marine environments.  I found the jellyfish display fascinating.

Jellyfish farming
Jellyfish farming

But the main attraction is the butterfly room.  Just outside it there are a number of glass display cases with common and exotic butterflies pinned to boards.  Gruesome, but still beautiful to see.

Colorful butterfly graveyard
Colorful butterfly graveyard

And then you enter the room.  If other photographers, amateurs or pro alike, plan on going there, be aware the room duplicates the tropics.  It is hot (I’m guessing a tad more than 80F), it is humid (every once in a while this fine mist is released), and it is not camera friendly.  I should have warmed up my lenses and my camera prior to getting in there.

Immediately upon entering the room a beautiful butterfly was sitting there for me to digitally capture its beauty.  I raised my camera, and everything was a gray blur.  Every glass surface on the camera fogged up to the point that water was near beading on them.  You see, the inside of the lenses were cold, having come from a temperature of about 50F, and a humidity of about 15%.  Perfect conditions for condensation to build up.

It took nearly 15 minutes before I was able to snap my first picture, and it was still foggy.

In a fog
In a fog

But eventually the lenses and camera cleared up, and I think I did a decent job of capturing some beauties.  As usual, click on any picture to be taken to the SmugMug gallery.  And while I always say these are best viewed in SmugMug, this time it is a massive understatement.

Also as always, if you know someone who might enjoy these picture, feel free to share the post.

Click picture for SmugMug Gallery
Click picture for SmugMug Gallery
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Click Picture for SmugMug Gallery
Click on Picture for SmugMug Gallery
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Click on the Picture to go to the SmugMug Gallery
Click on the Picture to go to the SmugMug Gallery