Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Orchids and Butterflies

Yesterday was President's Day and a holiday for both of us, so we headed downtown on this chilly day  to the Museum of Natural History to see an orchid exhibit that I read about and wanted to see. We used to go to this museum all the time when our kids were little, so it was fun to see this guy again.

The exhibit is called "The Orchids of Latin America," and represents a sampling of the thousands of orchids (there are more than 17,000 species)  grown in the Americas. These specimens in the exhibit  are the best of the winter-blooming plants grown by the Smithsonian and the U.S. Botanic Garden. There are over 300 plants displayed at one time, with new plants continually being changed in as blooms fade.

I especially loved the orchid pictured below, and remarked to a woman standing by me that it reminded me of pansies. She said it is in fact called a 'Pansy Orchid,' and she grows them in her apartment.  Its official name is Miltoniopsis, so I will need to track that variety down, since she said it is easy to grow.  It was great to see so many colors and varieties all together--such a feast for the eyes on a cold wintery day.

Pansy Orchid,  Miltoniopsis

After viewing the orchids, we went upstairs to the Butterfly Pavilion,  where you enter into a small chamber, warm and misty, that is filled with plants and real butterflies flying about from flower to flower. Kids love it in there, as the butterflies tend to land on you, and you have to be checked from head to toe when you exit, in case there are any hitchhikers!

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