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Peak Season

or so the woman said when answering my phone question about the timing for visiting the Butterfly Encounter at Lukas Nursery. In order to keep myself sane, this week I've been going on outings whenever possible. Monday morning, around 10, it was possible. Arriving with the new camera in tow, I entered the hot and humid atmosphere of the aviary, which in this case describes it well because I saw way more darling little birds than I did butterflies! They were darting all over the place, and was it ever something.

Who wouldn't be happy when seeing a bird with POLKA DOTS? I mean seriously...
Apparently there are gobs of types of finches in this beautiful world of ours, mostly ones I've yet to see. All I know about this one for sure is that it is cute as a button.
Below is a Spice Finch which is really interesting as yesterday afternoon I made a homemade spice cake, one I've not made in forever. As a young girl, when asked what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday, you know, in the days when people actually made birthday cakes, I always wanted spice.
In addition to finches, they also have little quails that clean up the ground. I've seen brown ones, I've seen white ones, never have I seen one that I'm calling deep rust. Seriously cute.
They have a room, if you will, with Painted Lady butterflies ready to be both fed and held by the customers. You dip your index finger in some Gatorade, hold it below the butterfly; they hop on!!! The attendant told me their taste is in their feet.
Although there was a Giant Yellow Swallowtail flying around, not once did it land for even a moment. There were quite a number of this very attractive green butterfly.
And then something terrible happened--my camera battery died. I mean the screen went black. How could this happen, you ask? Well, interestingly enough, before leaving the house, I thought I'd checked it, but apparently I did not read it correctly. There was so much more I wanted to photograph, however, it was not to be. I was hoping the attendant would feel bad for me and validate my admission for another day that I wanted to drive twenty miles, however, she felt none of my pain. :)

Note to self, always take a second camera, it is not like you don't have one!!

Yesterday's excursion was to the Orlando Museum of Art to see the Florida Prize in Contemporary Art, an exhibit that is closing within the week. Although that exhibit did not engage me much, you'll see something in a few minutes from it, I thought the museum as a whole was terrific. It's been way too long since last I visited.
So, take a look at the piece on the wall...
Can you guess what is under the openings on the left side panel? POSTAGE STAMPS!! There are punched, or that's what I'm calling it, holes with the stamps visible. Now that is really something, isn't it?

The permanent collection spans many genres, some super, some just okay.
I loved the movement in the sculpture, so lovely, the figure and painting in the back, not so much. Take a closer look at those two.
You may find yourself wondering just what is attached to that head gear. Well, I'm here to tell you that, for the most part, they are painted bird figurines that must have taken the artist a long time to collect. Or, perhaps he came upon a bird statue lovers' estate sale? One that also had gobs of crocheted potholders? I'll never know.

I found this piece fascinating...the statue is made from plaster casts, you know, the kind people used to wear on their broken arms. The photograph added another dimension.
I was especially intrigued by the self portrait pictured on the left below--made with stamps. No, not postage stamps, rather the kind that you use with an ink pad. The accompanying text explained that the artist also makes art with food, say chocolate sauce, photographs it, then of course discards it.
Sort of like my experiments with milk, food coloring, and corn syrup.
Okay, so about those prize winners....while in another gallery I kept hearing this clanging noise that was pretty much getting on my nerves. Here is the source of said noise.
Expertly created, however, a clanging metal on pots leaves me a little cold. Finally, probably my favorite painting in the whole museum....tada...a sheet!
I suspect that sheet won't do a thing for some of you, but I found it astonishing. The rocks were really great as well, but that sheet....WOW!

I would be remiss if I left out the cool sculptures on the plaza in front of the museum. Above you saw the sitting one, here are those standing about.
Actually it was a photograph of these that I saw in the newspaper that made me finally get off my butt and see them in person. I was not disappointed. Should you be interested in seeing them for yourself, they will stand mute outside the museum until the middle of January.

All views presented are my own...feel free to disagree with me!

So, we have some God made beauty, and some man made beauty. Isn't life amazing?

Trying to stay busy,

Gail
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