Thursday, May 30, 2013

Unexpected Beauty

Living in Buffalo is a funny thing. There is a lot more to do here than most people realize and, contrary to popular opinion, it does NOT snow all the time; it was a stifling 85ยบ today (much to my intense displeasure!) But the thing that always strikes me as so profound is that we are half an hour away from a foreign country. And for the longest time I balked at spending the extra money to get an enhanced driver's license, which would allow me to travel to said foreign country. I'm pretty sure only states that border Canada or Mexico offer them, although I could be wrong. But the impression I'm under is that if someone from North Carolina wanted to cross either border, he would need a passport.

My stubborness changed last year, and I don't have a good explanation for why. I just decided to fork over the extra cash so I could head north every now and then. Today, I hopped in the car and headed for the Canadian side of Niagara Falls for a healthy dose of Vitamin N. I skipped the actual Falls and journeyed over to the Botanical Gardens and the Butterfly Conservatory.

I've always been fascinated by the life circle of the butterfly. It's one of the most amazing things in God's vast arsenal of awesomeness. (Note to self: pick up a copy of Disney's newest nature documentary about butterflies.) I've been to several butterfly exhibits in the past, but this one is phenomenal!

As soon as I walked through the glass doors, I'd noticed these stunning blue butterflies flitting around. Trying to get a decent picture of one proved to be fairly difficult, though. I really wanted a picture of one perched on some flowers, but I was lucky enough to snap a picture of one that was just sitting on the ground. I had to be very careful of wear my feet landed the whole time I was there. I was terrified that I was going to step on one, which would have ruined me.

As I wandered through the greenery, I noticed some brown, drab-looking butterlfies that appeared to have eyes all over their wings sitting on the trays that are placed throughout the exhibit. These trays contain rotting fruit that the butterflies eat. As they spread their wings, I was shocked to realize that these brownish, eyeball creatures and my elusive blue beauties were one and the same! They're called Blue Morpho butterflies and are one of the largest butterflies in the world. The shimmery, iridescent blue color comes from their scales; the spotted brown color acts as camouflage.

If I hadn't been paying attention, I would have completely overlooked this unique example of hidden beauty. And I think to myself... what a wonderful world!

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