“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.”― John Keats, Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne
We were warned early. If a butterfly chose you, don’t try to remove it. If it was creeping you out, have a staff person deal with extracting the “flying blossom.”
I inwardly laughed. If a butterfly wanted to hang out on my body, it was all right by me!
Let me back up and explain. My husband and I were in dire need of a “date day,” and Como Park Zoo, comozooconservatory.com, seemed like a grand lark. Summer. Holding hands. Exotic animals. Monkeys flinging dung. What was not to like?
I had my camera and was ready to be inspired. Other members of our photography club– https://www.facebook.com/Northern-Exposures-Photography-Club-112816717862/–had mentioned how fabulous the Como Park Zoo butterfly exhibit was, and we were eager to check it out.
A Como Zoo staff member gave a rote speech on expected behavior once inside the butterfly tent. No open bags. No handling the butterflies. Be careful where you step. If you don’t like the feel of a butterfly on you, ask a staff member to remove it.
Okay. Okay. Okay. Let me in!
We walked through the doorway’s strips of clear plastic and immediately let out ooh’s and Aaah’s. Butterflies in all sizes and colors flitted through the air like a shower of confetti. My eyes tried to adjust to the blues, yellows, and reds while brandishing my camera around like a friendly sword. Must. Get. Pictures.
In some ways, it was as though the butterflies were in a feeding frenzy. They attached to flowers and discs of fruit. They attached to people and screaming children. Sometimes they even attached to each other, but I tried not to look.
“They only live about 2 ½ weeks,” said a docent. “But once in awhile they ‘hook up’ and make the most of it.” Yeah. I would too.
We stayed for about forty minutes, but it felt like five. When I arrived home, I had over two hundred photos on my camera. Now I’m left with the job of deleting without mercy, but oh the joy of capturing those flying blossoms…at least through the lens.
Feeling creatively inspired? The best part of my day!