Since becoming a member of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County earlier this year it is more and more becoming one of my favorite places to visit. And every couple of years I look forward to the Butterfly Pavilion.
I packed my 60mm macro lens thinking I would need to use it. However, I ended up shooting only with my 18-135mm kit lens on my Canon T3i. I keep thinking I need to trade in the kit lens for a more professional version but really for my purposes so far it does the job.
And, with a little help from my friends Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, I am not complaining.
I was overhearing a conversation between two photographers saying how much they dread post-processing. To me, that is the really fun part. However, I am forcing myself to concentrate on taking the best photo possible in camera rather than pointing and shooting and saying, oh I’ll fix it in Photoshop. That’s a hard one for me!
From the NHM website: Some butterflies in the exhibit mate and lay eggs, however we regularly fill the pavilion with butterflies from all across the United States.
20 species of California natives such as the Monarch, Mourning Cloak, and Buckeye
10 species of subtropical varieties from south Florida and Texas, such as the Malachite and the Grey Cracker
Various butterflies are present at different points during the season and the plants will grow and change. This means that each visit to the Butterfly Pavilion throughout the summer can be a different experience!
Click on photo below to start the slideshow:
Butterflies don’t have very long lives, anywhere from a week to a year according to the species. But as one of the docents at the pavilion said, it’s a pretty good life. As caterpillars they get to gorge themselves on anything they can find to eat (I can appreciate that!) and then as butterflies they get to fly around in the sunshine snacking on delicious plants. Basically it’s the same as my life philosophy: enjoy the day!
Don’t know how this guy snuck into the butterfly paradise but he seemed to be enjoying himself safe from his usual predators.
Coming in for a landing on the back of the chair.
This guy was napping in the pathway. Not a good idea. We were instructed not to touch the butterflies as the oils from us humans would destroy their sense of smell. So in order to get the creature to move out of harm’s way we were supposed to stretch out our hands to create shade. This would cause the butterfly to fly off into another sunny spot. Sure enough, it worked!
Tickets to the Butterfly Pavilion are sold for half hour time slots. I lingered for 45 minutes. After taking my photos, I put the cap on my lens. I wanted to just sit for a while taking in all the beauty and giving myself a few minutes of peace.
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