Ugh. You know those overdone head-cold medicine commercials with the absolutely average looking woman (but pretty--it is a TV after all) with the swollen, tearing eyes, sneezing her head off...more than any person really does in real life?
OK, that is me. People really DO get puffed up eyes like that. I had to stop telephone conversations today to sneeze, and stood off to the side in the supermarket today until my eyes stopped watering lest something think I was crying. Luckily, I have no fever, aches, pain, etc. Nothing that boxes and boxes of Kleenex with Lotion and some NyQuil won't ultimately solve. I'm staying away from fellow humans though. No one else deserves this.
I realize I have ignored you all week. Yikes! I've been catching up on work email, digging through family paperwork, dealing with slightly odd rescue-related threats (my first in a quarter century), and I even had my job evaluation (a good one--yes!). So I promise over this holiday weekend, I will fill in the blanks.
First up are delayed Key West posts. One of the places I went to visit was The Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. The entrance fee was $12. Really $13, as there was tax. I was in and out in 20 minutes. If you really love butterflies, and have a good camera, this is a great place to stop. If your wallet is thin, the store is open to you without a fee. I chose to go inside.
Bring a lens cloth, or treat your lens ahead of time, because it will fog up every few seconds due to the high humidity.
It is interesting to see the different behaviors of the butterflies. Some flit briefly from plant to plant. Some seem never to land and are hard to catch on film. Some ignore the windows. Others beat their wings against them with futility. There are tiny quail running around that no one else seemed to find fascinating. I could have watched them for hours rather than the butterflies. The birds were finches. Obviously they could not have birds that might try to make a meal of the insects.
It was a fairly small area. Small or not, I'm sure it takes an incredible amount of work to maintain. I would have like to have seen more interpretative signage in the actual conservatory, with artwork of each type of butterfly, their origin and habitat, and information about the plants as well. In such high humidity, they would have been expensive signs of course, to survive in that environment.
They have a learning center, with video, before you enter.