Thursday, September 30, 2010

Poisoned Mushrooms and Random Piles

In our public speaking class on Tuesday, we all had to do an impromptu speech on a random subject. Everyone in the class had to think up some completely random topic, the more obscure the better. (I loved this, as I’m sure you know by now, I love random humor) I wrote down Poisonous Mushrooms, and Joel wrote down Blue Toe Fungus. All the topics were mixed up, and everyone got someone else’s. The girl who got mine proceeded to explain what poisonous mushrooms looked like, “They’re round, and they have a thing underneath that looks like a tree,” and that they are poisonous, because “at night someone goes around and sprinkles poisonous stuff on them.” The guy who got Joel’s warned of the dangers of blue toe fungus, and said that if you get it you don’t have long before the fungus spreads to the rest of your feet, and if you leave it untreated, it eventually will spread to your entire body. According to him, that’s what happened to Sully from Monsters Inc. The speech I got was far less funny. I got “Why do blue and brown go so well together in decorating?” Not much to work with humor-wise there, but for some reason everyone thought it was hilarious. One girl said it was funny because I was a guy explaining about interior decorating. Oh well, if I amused them I guess that’s all that matters. My speech centered around the fact that brown and blue are seen together in a lot of natural settings, and landscape photography, such as deserts, beaches, lakes, and rivers, so these colors translate well to decorating. Again, I didn’t think it was funny, but, whatever. Smile Another memorable speech was a girl who claimed that “Dinosaurs lived thousands of years ago, but they are making a comeback, so you had all better all get yourselves machine guns and a sword if you want to protect yourselves.” Her delivery was hilarious. After everyone was done someone said that our teacher needed to give a speech too. She agreed, and asked for a topic. I threw out poison arrow frogs, and she went with that one. Instead of talking about tiny blue spotted frogs in the rainforest though, she proceeded to tell a story about being at the beach and seeing a massive green creature swimming to shore with a bow and arrow. It was really random, but so funny.
Next week we have to deliver a “Process” speech. We are to explain how to do something using visual aids.
In Launching the imagination we have now finished our abstract color collages. We turned them in on Tuesday, and began work on our next project. In this project we are to again draw the same picture four times, sort of like when I drew the four spheres with different textures, only this time, we are to use four different color schemes. I hope he doesn’t want identical pictures, because unless I used a computer there’s no way I am going to be able to draw four identical pictures. I have finished the drawings,(Without color as of yet) and they don’t look exactly alike. You can tell that they are supposed to be the same picture, but they don’t look the same. One I am not really happy with, so I am coloring it in with sickly colors to show my feelings toward it.
In my Design 1 class we are working on the designs for our kites. I am still basically clueless as to what I am going to do, and how I am going to get it done. I really have nowhere around here that I can work on a kite, and we are not supposed to do something simple like a regular diamond kite. I decided to talk to my teacher about it today, and I explained that I have never built anything before, and I really have no idea where to even start. I also told him that I can’t work on it at home because of the whole flood situation, and I just don’t have room. Plus I don’t know where to get any materials for the project. He told me that for this weekend, search for different kite plans, and imagine that instead of living here, I live inside a kite factory, and I can get anything I want. Basically what he wants is for me to come up with a design, and we’ll worry about materials later, because even if the design calls for specific things we can substitute other things, and we may even have some stuff in the art room at school. So I am a little less apprehensive about it now, but I still need to find a good kite plan and come up with a design.
Tomorrow we have our Drawing 1 class. Hopefully it will go better than last week. Last week we did charcoal drawings. Of a pile. A giant pile of random boxes was at the side of the room with all the drawing horses arranged around it so everyone could see it and draw it. It was pretty much the dumbest thing ever. Well, maybe not, but I did not enjoy drawing a pile. I do enjoy typing a pile though. Right now it is really amusing to me to write that I had to draw a pile. Smile with tongue out I understand why he had us draw just a random pile, he wants us to focus on the details and not what we are drawing, but I like drawing actual things, not random messes. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll have a more fun exercise to do. And hopefully something less messy than charcoal. My hands were stained black all the rest of that day.

Heh, I just realized, this post was filled with random, even though I wasn’t trying to be random. I love it when random happens in real life. Smile

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

College Collages

Well, yesterday we got our collages back from our design 1 class, so I thought I’d share them with you. This has been a multi-step process in learning about collages, so I’ll start off with the “Sketches” The main purpose of the collage exercise was to teach about perspective. The sketches we made first to demonstrate that we knew how you use the illusion of perspective correctly. This was kind of a no-brainer for me, but I suppose that it was helpful for some people.
The last one was a bit of a mistake, It was supposed to show linear perspective, but I misunderstood, so while it does show forms appearing to be going further away from each other, it doesn’t have them all lined up in a row converging to a point and disappearing into the distance.
And now what you’ve all been waiting for: The final projects!
The first one was supposed to show something real, something that looks like you could reach into the picture. I went in kind of my own direction with that, and made an object. It was technically what the project called for, but probably not what the teacher had in mind, still, he has told me that even if I don’t end up with exactly what the project is calling for, if he can see that I understand the concepts, but am unwilling to sacrifice the artwork for the exact specifications of the project, any points I might lose for that will be made up by the quality of the artwork. So even though this isn’t something that looks like an actual place, it was still a quality piece. I chose to make mine a fishbowl.
I put my folder in the scanner on top of it, because otherwise you wouldn’t be able to tell that I actually made the bowl itself. Most people just used a square paper for their projects, but the ones that everyone picked out as being the best were ones that people had gone in a different direction with, and done something way different.
My other one was for the “Ambiguous collage” It was supposed to be representative of something unrealistic. I ended up giving myself a headache with this, because I did something that ended up a lot harder than I thought it would. I made a bird, out of birds. I thought it would be easy, but when I started gluing it together I realized I was wrong. It ended up taking probably three hours to finish, and that was only the gluing together. That’s not counting all the time it took to find all the pictures and cut them out, but I am pretty happy with the piece. On the day we turned them in, mine was one of only five chosen by the entire class as being the best, and it was one of two that got multiple votes.
Sorry about the missing wing and tail tips, the scanner isn’t quite big enough.
So now that that project is complete we have started on our next one. This one I am not liking quite as much, but if it turns out good, by the end I think I will enjoy it a lot. We are working on making kites. The reason I am not really enjoying it is because I really know nothing about making kites. But that is the point of the exercise. He is not giving us anything to start with. We have to do all the research ourselves and build a working model. I’m afraid I’m going to put a ton of money and effort into this project and then have it fall out of the sky and smash. Thank goodness that Charlie Brown’s “Kite Eating Trees” aren’t real or I’d probably be scared of them too. In my research I have discovered something called Kite Arial Photography, where you attach a camera to a special kite and then use a remote to take pictures from the sky. I would love to be able to do that, but I’d be even more terrified of sending my kite up if I had a $500 camera attached. I’m still not sure what I am going to do. I really want to make an amazing kite, but if I try to do something too ambitious, it’ll be the bird collage all over, but instead of taking three hours, it’ll be impossible to finish. I’m thinking I should stick to something safe, but I still have that voice in the back of my head that says “Go for the ambitious project!” I always have high ambitions, but I end off biting off more than I can chew. I need to learn to scale back my ideas to something I know I can manage, and save the high concept ideas for when I’ve had experience with something easier.
Well, that’s what’s going on in my Design 1 class. I have some other stuff to share about my other classes, but I’m going to save that for later. I have some more research to do tonight on my kite project, and I probably should start getting ready for bed soon.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Just thought I’d write a quick blog post about the new feature on my blog. I’m sure that by now you have already noticed something new when you first opened the page. A song started playing, right? Alex French has had on her blog, a playlist of music that always plays every time I visited it. It always starts with “Make Your Own kind of Music” which I would play over and over, and it would then get stuck in my head. But I didn’t mind, because I’ve loved that song ever since it was used repeatedly on Lost. Anyway, a couple days ago I asked her how she got that on her blog, and she linked me to a site where I could make my own playlist. I’ll keep adding to it, but for now I have “Make Your Own Kind of Music” A song from Phineas and Ferb, and various songs by Owl City. If you dislike the current song, you can choose a different one, or shut the player off at the bottom of the page. More will be coming soon. There will eventually be a big variety on there, because I like lots of different music. I’m thinking I need some Celtic music and some opera. And just for kicks some classical dance. No rap or metal though.

And now, just to fill out this post, I thought I’d add a couple videos. Music related of course. You’ll want to shut off the player at the bottom of the blog first, so that you don’t get two songs overlapping each other.

This first one is from the latest Phineas and Ferb Episode, “The Wizard of Odd.” It’s a hilarious parody of The Wizard of Oz. This song is a spoof of Follow the Yellow Brick Road. Unfortunately I don’t think I can add this one into my playlist.

That Yellow Sidewalk

The next video is one I can and have added into my playlist. This is the official music video for “Fireflies,” Owl City’s biggest hit. It isn’t my absolute favorite Owl City song, but I do love it and my favorites don’t have videos, so I’m going with this one. I might post some different ones later.


Last but not least, is the newest Muppet Viral Video. This is a great song, and so funny. I don’t think I can add it to my playlist either, but I was able to buy the song on iTunes. Now I can listen to it whenever I want. Open-mouthed smile


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Princess Produce, a Kitten, and a Haunted Redbox

So work has been a little interesting lately. Yesterday I saw a new item coming through our checkout lanes. Fresh from the Disney Garden, it was princess grapes. Guaranteed to make every four year old girl an instant health nut! I thought this was pretty ridiculous so I went home and posted about it on facebook.
Today at work I saw a brand new item. Disney Princess Grapes? What exactly Jasmine, Ariel, Cinderella, and their friends have to do with green grapes is quite beyond me. Disney recently bought Marvel comics, does this mean that someday soon we'll be buying Spider-Man Tomatoes, and Hulk Broccoli?
My cousin Mandi replied incredulously, “Dude, for real?” So I decided tonight I was going to get some photographic evidence. Behold: Disney marketing out of control!

Coming soon: Nemo® Fish Sticks, Prince Naveen® Frog’s Legs, and Bambi’s Mom® Venison! (I should be ashamed of myself for making that joke since Bambi was always one of my favorite movies as a little kid, but I couldn’t resist. Smile with tongue out)
I tried doing a little research on the internet yesterday to find some sort of explanation for why Disney would be selling Princess Grapes. The only thing I came across was one grape web page that talked about a White Princess grape. Nothing to do with Disney whatsoever. I thought maybe some clever head honcho at Disney had heard about them and thought that this was a match made in heaven. I rather doubt it was anything like that though. It’s probably just some bigwig who wants to make money by slapping beloved characters on anything he can think of. Today, I decided to look up the brand Disney Garden, since I noticed that logo on the bag for the first time tonight. Beware, what you are about to see is far more invasive than just a couple princesses…
Yeah. It still makes no sense to me, but I suppose it’s ok, if it make the little twerps give up eating all those candy bars and French fries. Smile with tongue out HAR HAR HAR! Like that’s ever happen! I did notice one glaring omission though. They lost the perfect chance to market Mater’s Maters. Though they did have different Cars on bags of potatoes, so I guess you could say they’re selling Mater Taters. Smile with tongue out
I think their marketing magic is working on me though, ‘cause I totally want some of those Bruce the shark Grapefruits.

That isn’t the only interesting thing to happen lately though. Tonight a girl brought a kitten into the store. Yes, a real, live, furry, mewing, kitten. She had it all wrapped up in a blanket and was carrying it like a baby. She claimed that she brought  it in because she didn’t want to leave it all alone in the car. Why she was driving around town with a kitten at ten at night is a mystery to me… When RJ found out that someone had been in the store with a live cat he said, “Really? A kitten? Yeah, THAT’S not a health code violation! Tomorrow, I’m bringing in my turtles!”

All night tonight our redbox had been acting up, and no one was able to return their DVDs. They posted a sign on the machine directing customers to call a number, and that they would be sending a representative to fix the machine soon. As Courtney Witt and I were leaving the store she noticed that the screen looked weird, like Windows 98 redbox Edition or something. We looked closer and saw that there was a mouse pointer on the screen and it was moving as if there were someone there working on it. It was the ghost of a dead redbox repairman! Actually it’s more likely that someone was fixing the redbox from some offsite location, the dead redbox guy just sounds like a more interesting explanation. Return your DVDs, or be haunted by the deadbox guy! Ahem… Anyway, the pointer clicked open a window and began to log into the machine. The funny thing was, whenever Courtney touched the screen, she controlled the mouse, so if the person fixing the machine wanted to click something she could drag the pointer away from the button. We thought this was pretty funny. I told her that somewhere whoever was working on the box was probably saying some naughty words. Eventually we left them alone so they could fix it in peace, but it was a pretty amusing experience.

Work isn’t usually that interesting, it’s just a grocery store after all, but every once in awhile something happens. Tonight just had a few more things than usual all happen on the same day.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rotten Little Brats

Kids these days can be just awful. Tonight at work there was a little kid being a total brat, sat on his mom's milk, making it leak, getting into stuff, opening candy right off the shelf, just being an obnoxious little pest. His mom was just about at her wit’s end. Frankly I would have applauded her if she’d have flipped the kid over her knee and spanked some sense into his rotten little butt. Okay, so maybe that’s a little harsh but the kid needed a lesson taught to him, and his mother’s repeatedly saying no and pushing him down into the cart was just not working. One of my coworkers, Jen went up to him as his mother was checking out and told him if he didn't behave we'd keep him there and she'd make him scrub the floor with a toothbrush. He of course thought she was bluffing, lipped off and said he'd stay, so Jen held out her arms and said, "Okay, come on!" He just stared at her and kind of backed away. He didn’t expect her to actually keep her word. I thought it was pretty funny. He calmed down a little after that, though I still wouldn’t say he was behaving himself. I packed the woman's groceries in another cart and asked her if she wanted to drive up. I didn't think she'd be able to handle her load of groceries and two kids, especially when one was being such a monster and had already squished one gallon of milk. When she drove up I started loading her groceries and the kid looked at me and exclaimed, "I don't wanna be left here!" I think he thought his mom was dropping him off and I was there to pick him up and put him to work. For his mother’s sake I hope we scared him into behaving better.

An Update on School

Well, here is the other post I was working on. My scanner was being temperamental last night, so after I finished my scanning I went to bed. Otherwise I would have had two blog posts done last night, but the lateness of the hour (or should I say the earliness?) prevailed and I went to bed.
Anyway, I wanted to update everyone on some of the projects I’ve been working on in school. I still can’t do anything about my drawing class because my teacher has not returned any of my projects that I have been working on. And he may not have even graded them because there are no grades posted on the Iowa Western website.
So to begin I’ll show what I’ve worked on for my first class in the week: Launching the Imagination. The three projects that I have done so far probably don’t look like much, and frankly they really aren’t. They’re basically just exercises in form.
The first one is all different types of lines.
Rather boring, but necessary I suppose. It is a good way to use your mind, so I do not dislike doing these, I guess I just really want to get on to making works of fine art. Smile
The next is an exercise in shape. The original directions were to use a felt tip pen, like the previous exercise, but our teacher wanted us to also work with shading, so he told us to use #2 pencils. #2s are hard enough that you can get definite lines, but soft enough that you can do some pretty adequate shading as well.
Kind of a random mess, but it was still kind of fun.
The most recent drawing project from our Launching the Imagination class was about drawing styles, and a little about texture. We were each supposed to draw an object 4 times, using four different methods of drawing, so it looked like four different textures. I was most happy with my stippled (Made entirely out of dots) one, and least happy with the one made out of lines. I chose to do a sphere, not because I didn’t want to do anything more complicated, rather I wanted to give myself a realistic goal. If I tried to do a complicated object, I would have either messed it up, or not been able to finish it. I always want to do more than I am able, and that ends up getting me into un-finish-able projects, so I made myself just do the sphere.
Bleah. I still have lots of room for improvement.
These are all the projects I have gotten back from my Launching the Imagination class, but they aren’t the only things we’ve been working on. For a couple of classes we watched a movie/documentary about a bunch of skateboarders from California in the 70’s who basically defined what skateboarding is today. The movie was called Dogtown and Z-Boys I believe. It was interesting, but a bit sad because these guys were basically street trash, and gangs. So everyone who is a fan of things like the X-Games: The people who pioneered your favorite sport were all pretty much small time criminals. In fact, the one guy who everyone in the movie pointed to as being the best skater was identified at the end of the movie as still in jail on various drug and criminal charges. The reason we had to watch the movie was to identify the different creative processes that these teens used to go from surfers, to skateboarders, and how they refined the sport. Yes, they were so creative for breaking into people’s yards while they weren’t home, draining their swimming pools, and using them as ramps. *I roll my eyes* I thought it was a very big stretch to use this film as a study of the creative process.
The project that we are currently working on is an abstract collage. No actual pictures, just random shapes cut from construction and tissue paper. We are just starting to study color, so these collages all need to demonstrate a knowledge of color theory.
Ok, onto the next class. Design 1. This is so far my favorite class of all. I have a great teacher, and we are always working on something interesting. Well, almost always. Yesterday we worked on learning vocabulary words, which wasn’t the most fun thing ever, but it is pretty necessary. I think tomorrow we will be having a quiz on them, but the words are all ones I’ve been pretty familiar with so far, so I don’t think I’ll have too much trouble. Anyway, the point of this post is to talk about my projects, not vocabulary words, so here we go.
First off, remember this?
I told you I was developing three of the lines into complete projects. The three I chose, were all the horizon lines. It a bit funny because of the three the one I was most happy with ended up losing the intended meaning. I probably lost some points for that but my teacher said that the fact that I have such high ambitions and ended up making such a great piece that it wouldn’t matter. He encouraged me to keep going on things like that even if the original meaning gets lost. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m going to save that one for last. The first one is the one I am least happy with. It’s not a bad piece, but I don’t think it’s the greatest. Each of the three pieces was to be done in a different medium. This one I chose to do in colored pencil. Mainly because I really don’t have much else around here I can work with. As most of you know, our house is rather a mess right now thanks to this summer’s floods, and basically the only space I can call my own is a small corner of the upstairs living room. Not the greatest place for working on art, but I’m making it work. I rather doubt that all the famous artists had massive beautiful studios to work in, especially when they were just starting out. This first picture is of the horizon line at sunset.
Yeah, I’m not that great with colored pencils.
The second medium I chose was a photograph. I just wanted to do a basic horizon line. nothing fancy. Well, It would have been fancy if I knew where to find a great looking horizon, but this worked out just fine.
Zoo 247
Very simple, the message is clear, but it’s a bit boring. This is pretty much completely the opposite of my last one, the ocean horizon. It is not simple, and not boring, but the message was lost in the waves. Really there isn’t any horizon line visible at all, because of the size of the waves. I could have tamed it down a bit to get the message across, but it would have sacrificed the painting, so I’m glad I did not.
This is the first and only painting I have ever done, and I am very happy with it. If I had the space I’d go out and buy my own paints, brushes, canvas, easel, etc., and start doing more, but for now I’ll just have to be happy with occasionally doing it at school. I hope the opportunity to paint presents itself again soon.
The most recent project that we have been working on in design one is collages. Not the abstract ones of Launching the Imagination, but actual pictures cut from magazines. The point of this project it to learn different types of perspectives. I do not have my finished projects back yet, but I will post them when I do.
My third class is one of my least exciting. It is the Public Speaking class. Last night we had to give our presentation speeches. I do not know how I did. I think I did Okay, but I really don’t know. Everyone always tells me I’m too quiet so I tried to speak up. I will see how I did next week when we get our grades back. The presentation speech is a speech meant to introduce another speaker. It can be anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. We were allowed to introduce anyone we wanted, even fictional characters if we liked. I chose to do a fictional character, ‘cause I’m just different like that. I think I was the only one. Other people chose speakers like Steven Hawking, the inventor of Velcro, Ellen DeGeneres, Jane Austin, and even a tattoo artist. I chose Superman. Smile We were required to type a manuscript, but we were not to read from it. We were to make ourselves notecards to use instead. I thought it would be pretty simple to remember my speech from the cards, but it really wasn’t. You’re only allowed five words per line, and you weren’t supposed to write out the whole speech in five word lines. You just needed to write enough to remind yourself what you wanted to say. I’m sure that my speech was not exactly what I had on the manuscript, but it was pretty close I think. I chose to do mine a little differently, instead of introducing the speaker, and then listing his accomplishments, I started out by describing him, and only revealing at the end that it was Superman. I bet that most people had already figured it out before the end though. If you would like to read my manuscript I’ll include it here. It’s not that long, since we had such a short window of time in which to give the speech.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am here tonight to introduce to you, one of the most famous men in American literature. Born in 1932, he immediately took on the role of a hero, rescuing people from all manner of dire situations. This man has been all over the world, and sometimes even beyond it, doing more heroic deeds in one day than most people will do in a lifetime. A distinctly American icon, he is actually quite literally an illegal alien. Born on a distant planet, but raised here on earth, he grew up with the same down to earth values that his adopted parents adhered to. Without these morals it is doubtful he would have taken on the heroic role that he did. If you don’t yet know who I am talking about, you’ll know him immediately from his unique style of dress. He is frequently made fun of by his adversaries, and sometimes even other heroes, for his colorful wardrobe choice, but I’m sure you’ll agree that without his signature suit, he just wouldn’t be the heroic figure he is today. And now, without further ado, our special guest: Superman!
My other two classes I really don’t have much to report on. I’ve done some drawings in Drawing 1, but I haven’t gotten them back. We have now had to do a second self portrait, this time with cross contoured lines. I loath cross contoure. I am so bad at it. My self portrait turned out better that I thought it would considering I had to draw lines all over my face, but that’s probably because he let us use shading as well, so I kind of tried to mask the lines. I don’t know when I will get any of these drawings back, so I may not end up being able to post anything until the very end of the semester.
The other class is one I have never even posted about. Introduction to Psychology. It is an online class. I chose to do it online to save driving time, but it’s really annoying because so often I forget that I have to do it, because I don’t have to go anywhere for it. I think it would be better if it were a fun class, but it can be rather dry, so it’s really easy to put it off to the last minute. I’ve so far had one test in it, and I got a 78 on it. The tests have a 90 minute time limit, and that includes any time that the website decided to just randomly log you out. The e-college website is VERY finicky, and if anyone else in the house is online at the same time that I’m trying to work on my lessons I have problems with the connection. It is a rather poorly designed site too. It looks like a relic from the 90s. They really need to update it.
Well, that’s all my news for now. I am glad I didn’t stay up to put this post together because it’s now about a quarter to three in the afternoon. I would have probably been up when dad left for work this morning. I will try and be a little more regular with my updates, but I’m not promising anything, what with my full schedule and all.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I Think That I Shall Never See…

A poem lovely as an okapi.
Zoo 003
So yeah, it’s been awhile again, but I’m working on more than one post to make up for it. I finished this one first. It is dedicated to one of the most unique and beautiful animals at the zoo, the okapi. The okapi is the only living relative of the giraffe. This is probably one reason I love it so much, since giraffes have always been my favorite animal. But even if it weren’t related in the slightest, I would still love it. It’s such a unique animal. It’s body is like a giraffe’s, but really dark brown and its head is like a mixture of a giraffe and a horse. It most notable feature is probably - pardon my French, ;p - its butt, or rather its butt and its legs.
Zoo 008
Just like a zebra, yet another of my favorite animals. The okapi just seems to be all my favorite animals, giraffes, horses, and zebras, all wrapped up in one amazing package. Now if someone found a combination of all my favorite birds, that would be a sight to see! Hummingbirds, Owls, Parrots, and the little known, prehistoric Terror Bird. Yeah, I rather doubt that will ever happen, so I’ll be happy with the okapi. I want one for my own, but considering they are so rare that only 14 zoos are allowed to display them, I doubt I’ll ever have my own.
Zoo 005Zoo 004Zoo 006
So for now I’ll just have to be happy with occasionally getting to view this one from afar. Maybe someday I’ll get a chance to pet one. It’s a long shot, but it could happen. I got to pet some giraffes once. That was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Open-mouthed smile
Zoo 009
Zoo 011
I think dad likes them too. He was the first person that ever told me about okapis when I was little kid. He knew how much I loved giraffes and zebras, so when he heard about okapis he came home and told me that he had just heard about an animal that was part giraffe and part zebra. I wanted to see one so bad, but I had to be content with pictures in books and on the newly discovered internet until years later when the Henry Doorly Zoo joined the Okapi Species Survival Program and finally got an okapi in a location where I could view one live.
Zoo 012
Awe, I don’t think he wanted dad to leave. Smile
Well, until the next post, I will leave you with two more gorgeous pictures.
Zoo 007
I just want to love him, and hold him, and squeeze him, and pet him, and call him George. Bonus points if you know where this phrase is from. (I’m sure that you do Sarah. Open-mouthed smile)
Zoo 010
I just wanna jump on his back and ride off into the sunset. Of the rainforest. Smile

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Butterfly Conservatory

One of the newest exhibits at the Henry Doorly Zoo, is the Butterfly and Insect Pavilion. According to the zoo’s website,if you were to view the building from the sky, it looks like a winged insect. Outside are a few really cool butterfly sculptures.


The main feature of the pavilion is the Conservation Promenade. It is a walkway through a room filled with trees, waterfalls, flowers, and all sorts of beautiful plants. The main attraction of this room is the chance to walk among hundreds of butterflies. To get into the room, you have to first go into a smaller room, where a zoo employee explains the rules: Don’t touch or grab the butterflies, don’t let them ride on you when you leave, etc. Then they open the door and let you in. They don’t specify this, but the I’m sure that the small room also functions as a place to trap the butterflies if they were to escape as the guests are entering the room. The promenade is really amazing. There are so many different types of butterflies in there. I didn’t take near as many pictures as I would have liked, but I got enough to give you a small glimpse of what kind of butterflies they have.

butterfly 1
They have some that are rather ordinary to me, since I see similar ones all the time, but if you just stop and look at them, even the ordinary ones are beautiful.

butterfly 5
Then they have ones that are enormous! This one it’s hard to tell without anything to compare it to, but it was probably at least the size of my hand.

butterfly 2
At first glance, this one looks rather dull. It does have a very interesting pattern though. Just the fact that it’s brown, and other dull colors make it seem so much more boring than the rest though. However, look what happens when it opens its wings!

butterfly 2 again
Yes, this is the exact same butterfly in the previous picture! You’d never guess it if you were just looking through an album of butterfly pictures!

butterfly 4
I now wish I’d waited around for some of the other dull looking butterflys to spread their wings. I wonder what this one might be hiding…

butterfly 3
I couldn’t tell for certain, but this one almost seemed to have transparent wings.

Plotting Escape
These two butterflies cracked me up. They look like they are staring out the window, longing for freedom. Perhaps they are plotting their escape?

When you leave, you enter another small room. This room is filled with mirrors to help you spot any hichhikers that might be trying to tag along with you. If you do have one, there is another worker on hand to help you get it off.

The Promenade is not the only feature of the Butterfly Pavilion. They also have a chrysalis hatching room. They have large windows so the guests can look in and see the butterflies in various stages of metamorphosis.

Cocoon display
I had not thought about it before, but butterflies have such a short lifespan, that they would need to constantly replenish their supply. The variety in the design of the chrysalises is amazing. All cocoons are not created equally!

Cocoons 1
Cocoons 2
Cocoons 3
I love these! They are shining like jewels! You can see a newly hatched butterfly drying itself off here as well.

Cocoons 4
Cocoons 5
Next we come to the other end of the life cycle. What do they do with all the dead butterflies? Since their lifespan is so short, they must have many dead butterflies to get rid of all the time. Well, they don’t go to waste. Here they are preparing them for display.
dead ones
And the displays that they end up with are nothing short of amazing! I wish I had a better picture for you, but you’ll have to make do with this one. I tried my best to fix it up in Photoshop, so it looks much better than it used to, but since I’m still trying to get the hang of it, the picture’s still not the greatest. It does give a glimpse as to what the display looks like. Just try to imagine the vivid colors.
I just love the design. Whoever put this together is a true artist. I love how the different species are grouped in lines that swirl together.
Finally, before I sign off tonight, I want to share a quote that I saw there. I posted it to facebook, so some of you will have already read it, but I thought it was a really good quote, so it bears repeating.