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The day after Christmas, and a few days after it hit -13 degrees, I was treated to a visit to the butterfly house at Reiman Gardens in Ames, IA.  The warmth and color lifted my spirit so I thought I’d share it with you…enjoy!

butterfly 1 butterfly 2 butterfly 3

I enjoyed the dead leaf mimics and was amazed to see the iridescence on their wings when the light hit just right.

butterfly 4 butterfly 5

I was determined to sketch as well and had a few cooperative butterflies as models…

butterfly 8butterfly 9

The sign says, “Take the time to rest and reflect on nature’s beauty…may your spirit be refreshed.”  I did and I was.

Butterfly sketches © 2013 Karen A Johnson

Butterfly sketches
© 2013 Karen A Johnson

butterfly 6

As the sun went down, a worker came and brought newly emerged butterflies out to the greenhouse.  They perched on top of the plants like colorful flowers.  I, unfortunately, was so obsessed with trying to photograph them before they flew away that I didn’t pay attention to the waning light so all of my photos were blurry.  This is the best of the lot…

butterflies like flowers butterfly 7

Afterwards I wandered through another decorated conservatory and basked in more color.

As we emerge from our latest plunge below zero, I’m reminded that winter won’t last forever and spring will come again…and I am grateful.