Flutter by Butterflies

Tuesday, March 26, 2013
One of my favorite parts of the recent trip to Michigan was a trip to the Meijer Gardens. Located in east Grand Rapids, this impressive complex features several conservatories, art exhibits, and extensive outdoor plantings and sculptures. Because it snowed five inches the day we visited  (lovely, fluffy lake effect snow) we spent our time entirely inside, particularly enjoying the annual butterfly exhibit.

Since I think we're all feeling a little springtime deprived, I thought I'd share some photos of blossoms and butterflies from that visit. Personally, I've taken to singing Faith Hill's "Where are you Christmas" from The Grinch That Stole Christmas, only replacing the word "Christmas" with "springtime:" "Where are you Christmas springtime/Why can't I find you/Why have you gone away."

Butterflies floated through the air in the exhibit, but were especially concentrated at the feeding stations (below) where they were feed honey water and rotten fruit.

The exhibit featured a case of chrysalises where you could watch butterflies emerge from their cocoons. After the newly hatched butterflies have dried off, they're released into the exhibit where they live for about two weeks.

The butterfly below has an absolutely beautiful blue wing span when flying.

After many, many failed attempts to get a picture of the blue butterfly in flight, this is the best I ever got:

A kind volunteer noticed how hard I was trying to get a photo of the blue butterfly and pointed out that they also had a bird in the same blue shade that was more likely to stay stationary for me. As soon as I got my camera focused on the bird, he took off. It just wasn't meant to be.

Kids could choose from an assortment of butterfly wings to wear in the exhibit. I was tempted to tell them I'm a very mature looking eight-year-old.

This pretty little pink bloom sits demurely at the end of a long vine in the desert exhibit.

Butterfly and orchids.

There's a large Chihuly glass installation over the cafe. I recognized his work from Target Corp. and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Mom and brother were unimpressed by the installation, but I have to say it's my favorite of what I've seen of Chihuly's work which, for the most part, is not my taste. . . .at all.


There are even beautiful floral arrangements on each cafe table. Talk about a class act! 

Hope you enjoyed your virtual trip to Meijer Gardens and let's hope, for all our sakes, that spring is just around the corner.


  1. Is that big yellow glass thing on the ceiling between the Mpls Institute of Arts and the Children's Theatre his work? Have you ever gone to the butterfly exhibit they have at Como Zoo each year? It's pretty good and sometimes, if you wear a bright shirt, they might land on you.

  2. What a beautiful place. I so wish I could visit.

  3. Sounds like a lovely place to visit. Those orchids are beautiful!

  4. Love your photos - especially where you captured the butterflies with open wings. I would definitely have insisted I am only 8 to get to wear a pair of lovely butterfly wings. Keeping my fingers crossed spring is just around the corner, because I am tired of this cold weather. I'm calling the season this year Swinter.
    All the best,


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