Bring back Wildflowers, Bring back Monarchs!

Bring back Wildflowers, Bring back Monarchs!

Orange, Black, White. In flight.Monarch on a Thistle
Delicate beauty. Glorious sight.
Please don’t disappear!

Picky young eater.
So no Milkweed, no Monarchs!
Grow native, save lives.

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Flutter Followers

I paid another visit to the Butterfly House in Chesterfield.  Unlike our previous visit (see post), it was cold and dry outside, and hot and humid inside.  This month is particularly good for visiting since so many butterflies are released, especially the blue morphos.  Most of the blue morphos were active, making it difficult for me to grab a shot.  Everything in the tropical setting seemed to move!  Some fluttered across my line of vision.  A pair of blue morphos flew around me as if I obstructed their flight along the path.  A few followed me briefly, before flying off to the other human attractions.  One blue morpho landed on my back, seemingly sticking its proboscis out at me and my camera…  The beautiful little freeloader stayed there for almost 10 minutes as I walked around!

Anyway, some of the other butterflies were considerably more photogenic…here are a few of the photos.

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Visit to the Jewel Box

We finally made it over to the Jewel Box in Forest Park to find out what it was all about.  We’d driven past it a boatload of times to get to the zoo, one oJewel Boxf the museums, the boat house, the World’s Fair Pavilion, and other parts of the park.  Yet just about every time we tried to stop, the place was closed.  Luckily, this time we checked the hours before checking the place out…even though we still arrived 15 minutes before they closed.

It’s basically a bunch of tropical and seasonal flora showcased within interesting metal and glass architecture, but the atmosphere of the place is calming, peaceful, and quiet.  It is very well done.  We visited just before close, which means in Winter that the Sun’s about to set.  The splash of light and shadows added a bit of a finale to our brief visit…

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Fire and Ice

A few weeks ago, we traveled west of St. Louis to an interesting river town along the Missouri River.  In New Haven, it’s become an annual event to showcase activities that ‘rely on the Wonder and Strength of Fire.’  We thoroughly enjoyed the New Haven Fire Festival, particularly the glass blowing, wood carving, blacksmithing, flaming-pumpkin chunking (via trebuchet), and the House of Fire and Ice display.

For the fire and ice display, thick chunks of ice surrounded a bonfire.  As the bonfire roared, the icy fortress surrounding it slowly gave way.  All in all, a very interesting event.

 

Prairie Gentian

Today was Prairie Day at Shaw Nature Reserve.  I learned how to use an atlatl, saw many cool exhibits, ate a bison burger, and took a walk through the prairie with the camera.   While the brutal drought is still evident throughout the region, the recent rains seem to be aiding in the fall bloom season.  Anywho, I took a few photos.  Here is just one for now.

I’m fairly sure this is Prairie or Downy Gentian (Gentiana puberulenta).  These beautiful perennials, at less than 2 feet tall, could be easily missed in a full prairie, were it not for the vibrant blue-purple flowers.  And yes, it’s native.  And yes, it’s drought resistant.  Why not try something like this in your sunny flower garden?  Grow Native!

We’ve Come So Far

I found myself at a fun concert Saturday evening with free music (Tickets to the Beatles).  The shindig included a car show.

I love old cars.  I know they get poor gas mileage compared to today’s fuel sippers, but you can’t deny the coolness of classic styling!

I’m not sure I can relate much to sustainability here…except that the concert made use of an otherwise underused parking lot.  A few parking spaces were blocked off for the concert, inflatable bounce house (for the kids), and car show, leaving the rest of the lot for guests.  With this sort of event setup,  in between songs, one could duck into the camera store, get a hair cut, grab some margaritas, or enjoy some frozen yogurt by simply walking along the strip mall.  I’ve always disliked retail strips and malls in general because of the lack of social interaction involved (you pretty much have to pay a cashier for conversation).  With regular events like this, it’d be nice to socialize with locals and maybe even get to know people.  Nice!

The Butterfly House

We visited The Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House in Chesterfield, Missouri today.  It was hot and humid outside…and hot and humid inside the Butterfly House.  But the butterflies seem to love their tropical paradise.  It’s difficult to chase butterflies around with a camera, so I ended up mainly capturing resting individuals.  This facility promotes environmental stewardship, educates adults and children, and inspires anyone willing to walk among thousands of fluttering Lepidopterans.

B-e-a-utiful!  This one is called The Clipper (Parthenos sylvia).

Based on their website, I could not accurately identify these two.

Not actually a tiger.

This is an Orange Barred Tiger (Drayadula phaetusa).  I was going to add a few awful bar/tiger jokes here, but I’ll spare you.

This ghostly one was actually my attempt at a motion shot.  The little bugger fluttered too much for a clear shot, but the effect turned out to my liking.  I also couldn’t identify these insects based on the website’s descriptions…

If you’re ever in the Saint Louis area, consider checking this place out.  It’s amazing!  You can also check out a smaller butterfly house at the St. Louis Zoo for free.