For our anniversary, my husband took me to the botanical gardens before grabbing an early dinner at the Melting Pot (yum). It is officially Spring and so many beautiful flowers were in bloom at the garden. I have rarely seen so much pink!
All over the garden, the crabapple trees were in full bloom.
As were my favorite flowers, bleeding hearts.
The day was so windy, I spent most of my time essentially doing squats, bending to get the right photo only to sit patiently for the wind to die down long enough to snap a photo. My thighs hurt for three days after this trip! Still worth it.
The Friday before Easter I went to St. Louis to spend the afternoon thrift store shopping with my sister. Before I met up with her, a friend and I decided to do some urban exploring around downtown St. Louis.
The above building is the Cotton Belt Rail Depot, originally built in 1911 this building is now more than 100 years old. Since the last time I visited this spot several years ago, the building has been painted with a flowing, colorful mural. A look around the building reveals some equally colorful and intriguing graffiti.
One of my favorite spottings was a swing hanging from the ceiling of the depot, though I would not be brave enough to sit in it!
Last weekend, some friends and I visited the Missouri Butterfly House for their March Morpho Mania event. During this event, thousands of beautiful morpho butterflies surround visitors. During our time inside, four or five had landed on my shoulders, back, and even on top of my head.
The morpho butterflies’ exterior wings are covered in brown, yellow, cream, and pink eye spots. It takes patience to catch them with their wings open long enough to take a photo, but when they do, you are met with a brilliant blue interior with white dots speckled over the black border of their wings.
Some of the wings take on a purple hue while others have a deeper blue.
While the morpho butterflies were the star of the event, many other butterflies were fluttering around the sanctuary.
The Missouri Butterfly House remains one of my favorite places to visit!
Last weekend I had a rare slice of free time and used it to visit the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show with my mother. I am always blown away by how many orchids they fit into the space and the array of colors.
That orchids have such variety between breeds always impresses me. From the colors to the varying textures and smells, orchids are easily one of my favorite flowers. Some have curly petals.
Some have such tiny blooms you almost don’t notice them at first… like these blooms that grow out of big green leaves, or these mini purple orchids about the size of my fingernail that look like they have wings.
Some have little buckets to collect rain water.
Some grow in bunches, looking almost insect-like, others look more like leaves. Whatever the variety, they are always unique and a pleasure to experience in person.
I look forward to this show every year and it is always a treat.
Back in September, Tim and I went to the MOBOT Lantern Festival with my family.
As we walked around the gardens, the crowds were so thick we could barely make our way forward. It was a little overwhelming, but it was worth some of the beautiful lanterns we got to see, especially the reflections in their ponds.
While it didn’t take five months to get through these photos, it definitely took longer than I would have wanted! And in the process of uploading these photos, I ran across photos from my trip to the MOBOT Lantern Festival in August that I thought I’d posted, but hadn’t (whoops). I’ll update with those photos sometime this month.
In October, I went to Flagstaff with one of my closest friends. We spent time hiking in the area, including at Walnut Canyon and Sunset Crater (though we apparently weren’t high enough to actually see the crater). While at Walnut Canyon, we explored the dwellings built there. The one mile trail didn’t seem too daunting at first, but the trail descends 185 feet into the canyon, which was the only way in and out. Nothing reminds you of how out of shape you are than hiking up 185 feet of stairs! Below is a close up of the stones at the face of one of the dwellings and if you look closely in the photo on the right you can see the dwellings that were across the canyon (about 2/3rd way down the photo in the middle).
We did a sunset tour of the Grand Canyon, which definitely gave us a beautiful view of the canyon, but it didn’t give us much time to take photos. I ended up returning the next day on my own to get more shots.
It was a great trip and a much needed vacation!
The photos that took 5 months to edit! Between work and school, there isn’t much time left for my photography. Every time I would sit down to edit photos, I would remember a school project I needed to be working on, or we’d have plans with family and friends, or the house would be a mess…But I finally had the chance to sit down and get through all of my orchid photos.
I find it interesting how similar the orchids look to little people or fairies…in funny dresses perhaps, but human-like all the same.
And of course the colors always pop.
And with the recent snow storms, I bring a little taste of Spring with flowers…
…and butterflies, from the St. Louis Butterfly House:
Since my last update, I finished up my classes for the year and I made the President’s List at SNHU! In January I was also able visit my mom and we made a trip to the Zoo.
It had been a while since my last trip to the zoo and at 55 degrees in January, we weren’t the only ones wanted to spend the day outside. The zoo was packed and the closest parking was almost half a mile away.
Thankfully it wasn’t just the people who were spending time outside. I also got to see many of the big cats at the zoo, something I hadn’t been able to do my last few trips.The elephants were also active, including one of their youngest.
I also spotted a black swan.
A few months ago I posted photos from Ben and Liz’s engagement shoot. On November 22 of this year they made their way down the aisle to say I do. I was honored to be asked to photograph their wedding. From the colorful decorations and details…
To the beautiful bride and her dress…
To the dancing…
And of course, the bride and groom!