Butterfly Conservatory

By Carol at 6:35 am on Monday, August 17, 2009

Here are some macro shots taken at the Joseph L. Popp, Jr. butterfly conservatory in Upstate New York.

Largest moth

Said to be one of the world’s largest moth species.

walking stick

An exotic walking stick.

leaf and frog

Tiny tree frog observing the butterflies from his leaf.

Insectivore plant

An insect-eating pitcher plant.

chameleon's tail

The chameleon’s tail has just turned yellow.

chameleon in green

Chameleon in green.

tattered butterfly

A tattered butterfly.

drinking nectar

Drinking nectar at the feeder.

ating pair

A mating pair.

mourning coat

Mourning coat.

green butterfly

Green on green.

resident hummer

Resident hummingbird pausing at the nectar stop.

black and red

Black and red.

Filed under: Main Leave A Comment »

The Big Apple

By Carol at 5:51 am on Monday, August 17, 2009

Manhattan skyline

Lower Manhattan

On July 3, we took a one day trip to New York City, by train, from Elizabethtown, PA. Upon arrival at Penn Station, we took a Line 1 local train to the tip of Manhattan, where we boarded the free Staten Island Ferry. The round-trip ride offered a nice view of Lady Liberty and Ellis Island, as well as the skyline of lower Manhattan.

Lady Liberty

Statue of Liberty viewed from the Staten Island Ferry

After the boat ride, we walked north to Ground Zero. The void, where the Twin Towers used to stand, is now filled with the bustle and noise of construction, but the hole, in the skyline and in New York’s heart, remains. The absence of the towers feels very strange – both poignant and frightening.

Ground Zero

Cloud reflections above the hole in New York’s heart.

From Ground Zero and the World Financial Center, we walked east and hopped on the subway line which took us directly to the Museum of Natural History. We would need at least a week to see the whole museum, but we took an hour to do a quick tour and to see the special exhibit of frogs, born and bred by museum scientists.

Museum steps

At the entrance of the Museum of Natural History.

golden frog

A tiny poisonous frog in the Chorus of Colors exhibit at the NYC Museum of Natural History.

It was a beautiful day for a walk in Central Park, starting just outside the museum. We admired lakes full of turtles and snakes (and boaters), lush native plantings, and thousands of New Yorkers out for a stroll.

Central Park

Pointing out the fauna (baby alligators?) in the lake in Central Park.

Since our day was short, we continued our walk south, through the theater district and Times Square, where crowds were preparing for July 4th festivities, and back to Penn Station.

Times Square

Times Square, looking good on a warm summer day.

We caught our train but were kicked off when we arrived in Philadelphia, because of a ticketing snafu. That gave us time for a perfect Parisian dinner at the Parc Bistro and Cafe on Rittenhouse Square, before catching the last train home.

Filed under: MainComments Off on The Big Apple

Edible Gardens

By Carol at 4:37 am on Monday, August 17, 2009

Common Ground, a Palo Alto organization dedicated to organic gardening, helped sponsor a tour of local organic home gardens. We spent a leisurely day, touring eleven gardens, from modest to lavish. Three were large – the rest shared small to moderate city lots with average-sized homes. Each was inspiring in a special way.

J Cool Artichoke

An artichoke bloom in the garden of Jesse Cool, a local restauranteur.

Mortgage lifter

The famous Mortgage Lifter tomato, ready to pick.

Adobe Garden

Flowers among the vegetables and fruit trees in the garden of a co-founder of Adobe Systems.

Garden spirit

Taking the path less traveled.

Hot, very hot!

Hot, very HOT!

matilija poppy

Matilija poppy, a showy native, featured in a remodeled garden.

Sunflowers

Always my favorites.

Echinacea

Echinacea

Heirloom tomatoes

Heirlooms, producing well in a fabulous Los Altos Hills terraced garden.

Flpeating flowers

Reflections at the end of an inspiring day.

Filed under: MainComments Off on Edible Gardens