Tag Archives: spring

(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.

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.

Vacation Adventures: Las Vegas Strip

Our last day of vacation was spent exploring the Las Vegas Strip. We had just over 24 hours in the city and, thanks to picture-perfect weather, were able to make the most of it. We stayed at Treasure Island, visited dolphins and tigers at Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden at the Mirage, had patisseries at the Paris, admired the Chihuly ceiling at the Bellagio and spent much of the day walking the Strip. We capped off the day seeing “Absinthe” and caught about 2 hours of sleep before heading to the airport and waving good-bye to Vegas.

Vacation Adventures: Zion Park

Zion was our final and favorite park on the list. We arrived from the east in the late evening, taking the long, crazy, curvy, narrow road through Zion with countless switchbacks and multiple tunnels through the mountains. It tested every nerve in me and I have no idea how husband safely navigated that road. (He, of course, thought the drive was fantastically fun.)

Upon checking into our hotel, we asked the man at front desk for hiking recommendations in Zion. He pulled out a brochure and map, asking us “Any one scared of heights?” (Yes!) before circling four trails on the map that we were not to miss. Bright and early the next morning, we headed into the park for a day of hiking that included all of the recommended trails, multiple waterfalls and totaled around 6 miles.

Vacation Adventures: Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam was the first stop on vacation. We went because we knew we’d be driving by it on the way from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon and it seemed crazy to just zoom on by. It ended up being a multi-hour stop including taking the tour inside the dam. It had come highly recommended and really gives you a much better understanding of the magnitude of the dam and amazing amount of engineering that went into it.