Tag Archives: Meijer Gardens

(Terrifying) Spring Butterflies

The “Butterflies are Blooming” exhibit at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park means one thing – SPRING. It begins the first day of March. I start looking forward to it in January.

As we have every year since she was born, kiddo and I headed to the Gardens together to walk amongst the butterflies and enjoy the warm humidity of the Tropical Conservatory. But unlike in other years, this time the fluttering butterflies held no magic or beauty for kiddo. “What if they land on me?!?” Pointing out the dozens of other kids (and grown ups) walking around, arms extended, trying to coax a butterfly into landing on them did nothing to stem her fears.

After impatiently making her way to the conservatory to see butterflies, one look at them soaring around left her petrified. Who knows what changed, but we’ll try again next year. As for this spring, I’ll be going back to see the butterflies alone before they depart in May.

Best of 2015

‘Tis the season for “best of” lists, posts and look backs, so here’s one more! Below are my favorites from my 2015 archives. It’s been a year of big changes in our family, and the amount of posts that did (and didn’t!) make it up on the blog tells me how much things have shifted. The images below were chosen for their quality, but as tends to happen, they also represent several highlights of 2015: A spring trip out West, birding at Tawas Point, fall apple picking and our many trips to Meijer Gardens.

Opening of the Japanese Garden at Meijer Gardens

After trying to peek past the fencing surrounding the construction of the Japanese Garden on numerous trips to Meijer Gardens, the new space opened to members last Thursday before the public unveiling on Saturday. Besides lots of beautiful trees and plants, there are numerous paths, waterfalls and sculptures surrounding large ponds. It’s a big, beautiful and tranquil space I can’t wait to spend more time in. And with all that water, I’m really curious to see what Michigan waterfowl finds its way to the ponds.

A Different View of Spring Butterflies

The surest sign of spring in Grand Rapids is the Butterflies are Blooming exhibit at Frederik Meijer Gardens. Despite the chilly temps outside and snow still on the ground, every March and April the hot and humid Meijer Gardens Conservatory fills with tropical butterflies and thousands of visitors.

We live in a world where it seems everyone has a camera, so my goal when photographing butterflies at the Gardens is to find a different angle. I have lots of the typical side-profile-of-pretty-butterflies shots, but here are some images from this year’s exhibit that aren’t the usual.

ArtPrize 2013: Round 3

Final post for ArtPrize 2013. All of the pieces above are from Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Their curated ArtPrize exhibit for 2013 was “Shattered: Contemporary Sculpture in Glass.” The Gardens was one of my favorite venues this year (though I really love glass as a medium, so maybe I was a bit biased before I even walked through the door). This exhibit is on display until January 5, 2014, so if you missed it during ArtPrize, there’s still time to stop by and enjoy some beautiful works.

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Butterflies are Blooming in West Michigan

Every March and April, spring in West Michigan is accompanied by the annual Butterflies are Blooming exhibit at Frederik Meijer Gardens. For me, it’s a highlight of the season. I usually take an afternoon off from work to spend time among the butterflies and visit the Gardens multiple times during the two month exhibit.

In early March, I met my four year-old niece and sister-in-law at the Gardens for the Butterfly Ballet, an adorable event presented by the Grand Rapids Ballet‘s Junior Company. Afterwards we zoomed through the butterfly exhibit in under 15 minutes. Turns out the ballet inspired my niece to want to dance, not look at butterflies. 

With surgery in early April, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make it back to see the butterflies again this year. Happily, I was able to make my first post-surgery outing a trip to the Gardens for the last weekend of Butterflies are Blooming. After a tough two weeks in the house, it was a wonderful way to get a good dose of spring, nature and normalcy. 

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