Posts Tagged ‘butterflies’

deer fern frondsRecently I’ve hiked some gorgeous trails in British Columbia–trails with views of turquoise lakes and gleaming glaciers, trails that looked down on cities and rivers and out to distant mountains. I will likely post about some of these hikes soon. However, the other day I was hiking down a more ordinary path, one that wound through a pretty, but not spectacular, forest. There were no grand views to catch my eye, so I found myself noticing little things that I might otherwise have missed.Elderberry

moss patternThe bright red berries of the elderberry stood out against the browns and greens of the woods. In a damp area, fronds of deer fern formed a subtle pattern of light and dark. Other tiny ferns grew on tree trunks amid the moss. Farther on the yellowing needles of some unidentified conifer added color to the scene. Were they dying, or did they always turn yellow in the fall? Something to research, I guess.yellow needles

Odd types of moss grew on the ground just off the trail like tiny shooting stars all gathered together. And finally, small butterflies gathered on a wet stretch of the path, apparently sipping water from the tiny puddles. They flew up as my feet approached, landing on leaves, rocks, and even on me. Rusty orange wings on top, but brown underneath–when the butterfly closed its wings, it could easily be mistaken for a dead leaf. Ah, nature’s brilliance!

butterfly on rockThe grand views are wonderful, but the little things are just as important. It takes all these small organisms to make up the forest that reflects so majestically in a mountain lake. To God all are vital, just as each person–however ordinary and unknown–has a special place in God’s kingdom.

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Fern garden

While in Pittsburgh, we visited a place any plant lover would enjoy: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Located in Schenley Park, not far from my son and daughter-in-law’s house, the conservatory houses a wide variety of plants, including one whole room dedicated to ferns, another full of orchids, and a walk-through butterfly garden. Much of the garden is indoors, which was providential when a sudden thunderstorm dumped what seemed like a whole ocean of water in minutes. Fortunately, we had stepped back inside the building just before the storm hit.

just before the storm

So much rain fell that the tropical rain forest area–which apparently had open vents–had streams of water pouring down and running along the path. We ended up saving that area for last, after the rain stopped.

Orchid room

Other areas of the conservatory included a desert room, a sunken garden, an edible garden area, Palm Court, a couple of formal gardens using recycled materials, and outdoors a small Japanese garden, a children’s discovery garden, and a vegetable garden. According to the map, there is another large outdoor garden area, but we didn’t have time to see everything.

Desert room

Phipps Conservatory is an amazing place. If you ever visit Pittsburgh, I recommend checking it out.

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