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This year is the fifth anniversary of this blog. For the first year I was unsure about how many photos I could actually upload because of the free WordPress.com blogging account has a space limit. So I kept photo uploads limited to just my arts and crafts along with any photographs that I actually exhibited in a show. Over time I learned such things as graphic optimization so I was able to upload more photos that way than I thought I could. So for the rest of the year I’m going to devote Throwback Thursday to photos from previous blog entries (along with links to the original posts) that I should’ve uploaded five years earlier but I didn’t.

Five years ago this month I decided to check out the annual Christmas lights that were on display at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland. I went alone because my husband was on a two-week business trip to Florida at the time. I had a great time as I walked around and watched the pretty lights. I wrote something about this on December 8, 2010 while I uploaded this short video, which included sound effects along with the light displays.

Here are the still photos I shot at the time, which are now being posted on this blog for the first time.

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Since that time Brookside Gardens decided to discontinue the annual light display for the past few years due to extensive remodeling and renovation that was going on. I was overjoyed when I learned that this year the light display has made a return after that long hiatus.

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butterfly-webversion

I’ve been taking a few watercolor workshops that were offered on some Sundays at Makerspace 125. This watercolor, titled Butterfly, is the result. This piece was based on this photo I took during an outing to Brookside Gardens’ Wings of Fancy exhibit a few weeks ago.

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I chose that photo because some of the circle patterns on the butterfly’s wing looked like eyes. Anyway I like the result and so did the teacher. 🙂

Recently I went with members of the Women’s Group at my church on an early Saturday morning outing to the Wings of Fancy butterfly exhibit at Brookside Gardens. This exhibit is very popular and, on top of it, Brookside Gardens is currently renovating its parking lots so there is less parking than before. So we decided to meet in the parking lot at church then carpool over to Wheaton. It was a good thing too because what little parking exists began to fill up so the drivers (we rode in two separate cars) ended up dropping all of us off at the front entrance to the exhibit while we waited for the drivers to find parking further away then make the relatively long walk to the entrance.

I once went to a butterfly exhibit with my then-husband and late mother-in-law at the Botanical Gardens in Tempe, Arizona a few years earlier. I found the Brookside Gardens exhibit to be quite similar in structure to the one in Tempe but I still enjoyed it anyway because it’s such a photographer’s paradise. (I saw lots of people with cameras when I was there.) There was a special $8 admission fee for adults but I found it to be quite worth it because of all the butterflies that I was able to shoot with my smartphone camera.

The area leading to the front entrance had a butterfly garden planted, which included all kinds of colorful flowers in full bloom.

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The next two photos show the arch leading to the front entrance to the exhibit.

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We eventually reached a large greenhouse. Outside the entrance there was an exhibit featuring live caterpillars who were busy eating the leaves of the plants they were crawling on.

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Past the caterpillar exhibit there were the front doors with a plastic curtain that one had to walk through. (The other butterfly exhibit in Tempe also had plastic curtains placed in all of the doors.) Once you enter, you get to see butterflies literally flying and landing everywhere.

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One had to be really careful while viewing the butterflies themselves since they tended to land everywhere because it would’ve been so easy to accidentally step on one or sit down and squash one on your behind. Aside from that, it was really such a lovely display of butterflies landing on blooming flowers that provided lots of pretty pictures.

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Some butterflies preferred to feed off of overripe fruit instead of flowers so there were plates full of fruit to accommodate them.

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There was a glass enclosure full of chrysalises that had real caterpillars making the metamorphosis into butterflies.

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During my visit there was a butterfly that was newly emerged from a chrysalis but its wings were still folded up. A volunteer said that it takes several hours before a newly emerged butterfly can even muster the strength to start flapping its wings. That butterfly will eventually join the others in the greenhouse.

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There were plenty of places where people could sit and just admire the scenery (as long as you carefully look at your seat to make sure a butterfly isn’t resting there). There was one bench that was shaped like a butterfly.

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When it was time for us to leave, we had to exit through another set of doors that also had plastic curtains that we had to walk through. Then there was another enclosed checkpoint with two mirrors where we could check ourselves to make sure that there were no butterflies clinging to us before going out the last exit door into the outside world.

My husband is currently out of town on a two-week business trip to Florida. So I’ve been doing some things on my own. A few nights ago I went to Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland where they have this annual walk-through light display that’s pretty cool. The best parts were a few displays that had sound. I made a short video of these displays. The first one is a croaking frog with animated lights that are perfectly synchronized to the sound. The second are clouds with rain that included thunder sounds. The third and final one is a wolf howling at the moon.

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