Sunday, March 15, 2009

Butterflies are Free

Thank you all for being so patient over this last week. I had a hectic time doing a number of seminars and the blogs have suffered as a result. But never fear... I am back on track and there is a wonderful treat in store. It all started with me reading an article in the New York Times about a rainforest museum in Gainesville, Florida.

Only in Florida

I showed Alex the article and he too was excited to make the trip and take some photos. But, he raised the issue that dare not speak it's name: The ordeal to get there. The trip from Jacksonville to Gainesville involves having to go through two small towns that have little source of revenue and "strictly enforce" the speed limit. Don't believe me? Check out the photo below.

It seems the speed limits were so "strictly enforced" that AAA paid for signs to warn travelors. We made it through ticket free and arrived at the rainforest museum full of anticipation. And, our anticipation was amply rewarded.

the Rainforest Museum

The moment you walk into the museum you are overwhelmed with the sight of a wall of examples of the butterflies you will encounter once you enter the rainforest. This picture does not do justice to the sight.

After viewing the hundreds and hundreds of butterflies you can't wait to get inside and see them first hand. You walk through the door and experience a blast of air which prevents the butterflies flying out and you are instantly transported into the rainforest...

Butterflies are everywhere and you feel yourself instantly calm. It is a beautiful sight.

In addition to the butterflies there are birds that inhabit the facility. I shot these guys having a late lunch.

The museum workers put out fruit and bananas for the butterflies and they willingly fly from station to station to grab a bite of sugar.

And, it is not just the butterflies that are strange and wonderful but also the foliage. Flowers and many unusual trees are abundant.

One I found particularly unusual is this thorn tree. I never was able to find the official name for it but learned it occurs in parts of South America and Asia.

It was so fearsome I took a close up to give you an idea of just how sharp the thorns are.

But back to the butterflies

There were all kinds and I will just add a few more of the hundreds we saw...

We hated to leave but realized we once again had t0 endure the ordeal of those two cities that "strictly enforce" the speed limit on our trip back to Jacksonville. But, I hope these pictures have allowed you to enjoy the rainforest visit as much as we did.


  1. Gorgeous shots, Cherrie ! I wish I could visit this rainforrest museum some time in the future. It must have been a great experience.

  2. vengeance is mine,you will kneel before the GHENGIS

  3. great pictures. I'm surprised about the speed limit enforcement though; whenever I'm in Florida I am amazed by how fast everyone drives. I drove down 2 weeks ago and everyone was going 90+.

  4. Rob,
    You were probably on a major highway and not going through small towns like route 301. On the major routes you are right that speed knows no limits!

  5. Wow...your picts are amazing!