Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Butterfly Conservatory experience

Hubby and I recently spent a couple of nights in NYC.  From our home, we drove our car for an hour to catch a train, and then another 2-1/2 hours later we were plopped right in Manhattan.
View from the Amtrak window - the partially frozen Hudson River
At least once a year we like to get there, and usually pick an art museum for our main activity.  In recent years I've told you about visits to MoMA, the Metropolitan, and the Brooklyn Museum (where two sculptural pieces by my grandfather are on display).  This year, at my request, we spent a day at the Museum of Natural  History to visit the Butterfly Conservatory exhibit.  Imagine!  Swarms of butterflies in the middle of Manhattan in the winter!  I wasn't disappointed.  I'll tell you about the rest of our NYC visit in a different post, and even about the rest of the museum, but this post is just for butterflies.  With the exception of the photos of me, all photos were taken by me in the exhibit, with my trusty Sony point and shoot camera.
The exhibit was crowded with families and field trips, so getting photos was a challenge, especially since the butterflies don't pose on demand!  You  have to be patient.  At first, it was a real problem.  My photos looked hazy and I didn't know why.  The light was harsh, but my photos looked the opposite of harsh.  Then I realized, because of the cold outside and the warmth in the exhibit, my camera lens was totally fogged up!  I cleaned it on my sweater, probably not a good idea, but I guess it worked.  It took about 10 minutes or so before the camera warmed enough to stop fogging.
The 'Starry Night' butterfly as shown by an exhibit employee
 While I was there, I had an amazing experience.  I was approached by a young girl to tell me I had a butterfly on my head.  The next thing I knew, people were snapping photos of my silver hair and its new orange and black ornament!
The butterfly stayed on my head for longer than a 1/2 hour; so long, in fact, that my husband got bored of the whole thing (and claimed he was too warm in the 80+ degree exhibit, which I thought was heavenly since it was in the 20's outside) and left me to sit in the lobby and wait.  Crazy man.
 The butterflies sometimes landed on my hand, too, though most often they landed on the hand holding the camera.  So I'd struggle to get my phone out and use my non-dominant hand to take a photo, but that wasn't exactly successful.
 And a few more butterfly photos...
Could this be my butterfly, finally off of my head?
 It was a great day at the museum and the butterflies were just one part of our day!  I'll save the rest for another NYC post, in a couple of days.


  1. This is amazing!!! I have to bring Stella:) Spending some time looking through your posts now that I am vertical. Another great thing about retirement is you probably get to miss all these hundreds of germy kids and stomach bugs! Wait I think I'm going back down again. . . I'll catch up with you and your blog soon!!! I can't wait. Have fun in CALI

    1. By the way - yes - bring Stella. The kids in there were having the BEST time. Just check their website to see how much longer it is there - I think it (the butterfly exhibit) closes in May but I'm not sure.

  2. Poor Erica... I have an iron constitution I think. Fact is, I absolutely NEVER got stomach bugs. Just colds. And achy back, swollen ankles, hip bursitis... But no stomach bug!