Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Flowers Fiery Charm

Lantana sp. a favorite of the "flutterbys". Norfolk Botanical Gardens.
(Click to enlarge)
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"To analyze the charms of flowers is like dissecting music; it is one of those things which it is far better to enjoy than to attempt to understand." ~ Henry Theodore Tuckerman

The local botanical gardens have a new exhibit this year... a butterfly garden. While they have always had a beautiful huge outdoor butterfly garden filled with wildly and wonderfully unkempt flowers and bushes to attract the "flutterbys", they have added a mesh greenhouse exhibit where the butterflies are treated to all the nectar plants they love. Here they lay eggs, eat with larval abandon and form green dangling pupae on the mesh domed roof. The curators lovingly remove these to a viewing area where children and adults can watch the magic of metamorphosis occur, up close. And then the cycle continues. It is lovely, yet a little sad. These delicate creatures seem to long for their cousins that flit freely outside.... and though the lantana, black-eyed susan, holyhocks, yarrow, coneflowers, and copious numbers of butterfly bushes are available both within and without the enclosure... that unspoken call of freedom draws them to the mesh barriers over and over. Truly the grass is greener and the flowers more vibrant... on the other side of the road.

These lantana were so bright and beautiful... brilliant crimson and golden yellow. Some varieties have mixtures of these colors along with a hot pink and even white bloom. The nectar must be sweet... "flutterbys" love them. Teacher Mary at Work of the Poet hosts Ruby Tuesday each week... the reds you find there will certainly lift your spirits.

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