RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


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Countdown: my favorite dozen 2018 photos and a bonus

life is a canvas

San Gabriel Mountains from my roof deck in Culver City.

As if I don’t have enough to do, I decided to set myself the task of coming up with my twelve favorite photos for the year… one for each month. Some months I had fifty favorites and some months I wouldn’t have picked one for my top twelve… nevertheless I had to stick to my rule of one from each month. This exercise was a great lesson for me as I realized some months in 2018 I didn’t get out and about enough with my camera and I really struggled to find a photo. I need to be more consistent.

The above photo was taken from my roof deck on Christmas Day and is my New Year’s card to you all. One of my favorite quotes just happened to be floating around in the sky! Note the airplane just left of top center.

So here we go.

JANUARY

sunrise

Sunrise with resident crows from my roof deck, Culver City, California

FEBRUARY

Yosemite Upper Falls framed by tree branch. Yosemite National Park, California

MARCH

Huntington Library

Desert Garden at Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Los Angeles County, California

APRIL

Freddie and Frankie

A little out of focus but this photo really shows their true personalities. Frankie looking disdainful and obviously planning the next mischievous caper while Freddie is wide-eyed and innocent, ready to be splat in the middle of Frankie’s next big idea!

MAY

worthing seafront

Worthing Seafront, Sussex, England. The last place my parents and I lived before they decided to emigrate to the US.

JUNE

butterfly pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum

JULY

deck sunset

Sunset from my deck looking out on to downtown Culver City and Sony Studios

AUGUST

canadian rockies

Moraine Lake, Alberta, Canadian Rockies

SEPTEMBER

william s hart

The William S. Hart Park and Museum, Newhall, California. Detail of wall

OCTOBER

 

Los Angeles Flower mart

Succulents at Los Angeles Flower Mart, downtown

NOVEMBER

City Hall Christmas Eve

An early Christmas present to the people of LA as the tree at Grand Park mirrors Los Angeles City Hall.

DECEMBER

View from Baldwin Overlook

View of downtown Los Angeles and snow on the mountains from the highest point in Culver City, Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook (a California State Park).

I haven’t been on WordPress very much lately. I haven’t given up but I made a big decision and it’s going to be taking up a lot of my time. I probably won’t be posting much here but I will make the effort to go look at your posts to keep up with what you are doing. In the meantime, you can join me on my personal page on Facebook (Roslyn M Wilkins in Culver City). If you send me a friend request and I recognize who you are, I will respond. Or join me on my photo page by clicking on the Roslyn’s Photoart image in the right hand column.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2019!

 

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Buttorfleoge or Flutterby… it’s Butterfly to me!

natural history museum butterflies

In researching the origin of the name “butterfly” I came up with two possibilities. 1. The Anglo-Saxons coined the word ‘butterfloege’ because the most common butterfly at the time was the yellow brimstone butterfly. 2. They were called flutterby (obviously because they fluttered by) in Victorian times and after a while the name was reversed to butterfly. Maybe a combination of both.

natural history museum butterflies

I make the effort to visit the Butterfly Pavilion at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum every two or three years.

natural history museum butterflies

It’s somewhat of a meditative experience to mingle with the winged creatures for half an hour.

natural history museum butterflies

Our reservation was for 11:00am and I must say the creatures were very active at that time of day.

natural history museum butterflies

The docent informed us they were fluttering around looking for the right place to lay their eggs.

natural history museum butterflies

The butterflies can’t lay their eggs just any old place. It has to be the right plant or the eggs won’t hatch, or if they hatch they will die.

natural history museum butterflies

So every kind of butterfly has a specific plant to lay its eggs on.

natural history museum butterflies

So when humans wipe out certain kinds of plants the butterflies get wiped out too.

natural history museum butterflies

We humans continue to cause all kinds of havoc for nature.

natural history museum butterflies

In the pavilion there was plenty of mating going on.

Please click on an image below for slide show.

 

 


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It’s butterfly time at the Natural History Museum

natural history museum butterfly pavilion

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.

natural history museum 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.

natural history museum butterfly pavilion

And, with a little help from my friends Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, I am not complaining.

natural history museum butterfly pavilion

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!

natural history museum butterfly pavilion

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

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Butterfly Pavilion

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!

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Butterfly Pavilion

Don’t know how this guy snuck into the butterfly paradise but he seemed to be enjoying himself safe from his usual predators.

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Butterfly Pavilion

Coming in for a landing on the back of the chair.

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Butterfly Pavilion

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.

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Butterfly Pavilion
Hopefully I will return in another couple of years.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!
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Picnicking with the butterflies

Los Angeles County Natural History Museum

Los Angeles County Natural History Museum

It seems I can’t stay away from Exposition Park. A friend and I visited the Science Museum a week ago to see the Cleopatra Exhibit (will be writing a post about that at some point) and four days later I accompanied my mother’s assisted living group to the Butterfly Pavilion at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum.

Picnic at Exposition Park

Picnic at Exposition Park

First of all we had a picnic in the park. It was the perfect day for it—sunny and not too warm. We were entertained by some kids playing nearby. They threw their “football” into a tree where it got stuck and then spent the next fifteen minutes throwing shoes into the tree to dislodge it.

We could imagine that next up would be the shoes getting trapped in the branches. But their hard work and patience was rewarded when the ball came tumbling down on to the ground.

From our spot at the picnic tables we could see the Expo Line trains chasing back and forth. Less than four months ago the trains were still in test phase. Now it seems like they have been with us since the beginning of time. Since June 20 I have already ridden on the new line half a dozen times.

Simple sandwiches, potato chips and fruit salad seem like a gourmet meal when eaten outdoors. Who doesn’t love a picnic? Afterwards, we piled back into the bus and drove over to see the butterflies.

Inside the Butterfly Pavilion

Inside the Butterfly Pavilion

Inside the Butterfly PavilionLooking back at a past blog post I see that I visited the Butterfly Pavilion exactly two years ago in July, 2010. From the NHM website: “More than 53 different butterfly and moth species and an array of plants take up residence every summer for our much-anticipated seasonal exhibit…”

Butterfly on our leaders' hat

This butterfly liked our leaders’ hat

One friendly butterfly landed on our leaders’ hat and seemed to enjoy the ride, flapping its wings, as she walked around the garden.

Butterfly eating lunch

Butterfly eating lunch

As we had been watching the trains earlier, we made the decision to return to Culver City by the Expo Line and meet the bus at the station. Getting everybody on the train with their walkers and wheelchairs was quite an experience, but it was good practice for the train trip we will be taking the residents on next week. I am looking forward to it!

(photos copyright roslyn m wilkins)