Orchid Fest and more
Flowers and butterflies are a sure-fire way to beat the winter blues, and Reiman Gardens in Ames has both this weekend.
The Central Iowa Orchid Society will answer your questions, and orchid experts will be presenting sessions on orchid care (1 p.m.) and Iowa orchids (2:30 p.m.) on Sunday.
If orchids aren’t your thing, there’s plenty more to see at Reiman Gardens, even though it’s too cold to be outside. The Gardens’ indoor displays offer a warm, humid respite from the winter gloom outside. The Conservatory’s ever-changing display is currently featuring “row crops” of bright, sunny flowers and old-fashioned windmills.
Next, scoot inside the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing for a hubbub of winged action. Dozens of different species were active today — so active I had a hard time catching them with my camera. Most of my shots showed nothing but a frantic blur of wings. I tried without much success to capture a Blue Morpho, one of the showiest butterflies on display, but they never stopped moving! This image (below) of a Blue Morpho hanging out with pretty moth is the best I could do.
I am no butterfly expert, and I can’t tell you the names of the other butterflies I saw today (for that, you’ll have to consult the butterfly display board in the exhibit hall or ask the docent on site), but I can tell you that many of them were extremely colorful and beautiful. Walking through the Butterfly Wing is a bit like being in a rainforest.
Besides watching the butterflies in flight, you can also see them in their pupae stage through the glass window of the butterfly lab. If you’re lucky (and patient), you’ll see a butterfly or moth emerging from a chrysalis.
The Butterfly Wing celebrated its tenth anniversary in November.