Saturday, August 22, 2009

152/365 Exotic animals and butterflies

Aren't days off from work wonderful? Even if you love your job, and even if you get a full weekend break every week, having a day off is always a little sweeter.

My most recent days off have been spent working on household projects. But on Friday, I spent the day with Mom doing completely fun things instead.

We started our day with some specific shopping at a restaurant supply store in downtown Indianapolis, vowing afterward that next time we'll take a longer list of items to buy.

After that we had lunch at one of my favorite downtown eateries, Hoaglin's on Massachusetts Avenue. It's a great little cafe with ever-changing local art and always-good food options. We wandered through some nearby shops on Mass Ave after lunch, then headed to the White River Gardens to see the annual butterfly exhibit.

We were a little surprised, though, when we learned that the Zoo and Gardens have now eliminated the option to buy separate tickets for the two venues. Now it's all or nothing for $14.

We didn't want to pay $14 apiece just to see the butterflies, so we took an unplanned walk through the zoo to get our money's worth.

The beautiful weather brought out a lot of activity in the deserts area.

I really wanted to see the meerkats, which were a new exhibit last year or the year before. I'd heard they were an animated and lively bunch. Plus, who wouldn't want to see the living, breathing version of Timon?

Well, they may not have been feeling lively on Friday, but they certainly made me laugh. I think I'd call the activity of these two "chilling."

After doing a quick trip around the zoo, Mom and I meandered over to the White River Gardens butterfly exhibit. If you know me at all, you won't be surprised to see that I couldn't resist this stunning bird of paradise flower.

The actual butterflies that flitted around the garden were beautiful, though their population seemed smaller in number than the last time I visited.

I stood photographing this orange one as it stood sunning itself on a leaf, but I love this shot of it beginning to take flight.

This blue and black butterfly was crawling all over this flower, from one side to the other, enjoying the sweet nectar. I love the striking blue stripes on his wings.

I'd say it was a great way to spend my day off!

Camera: Canon 40D, butterfly and flower photos with 60mm macro lens. Variety of manual settings for a mix of exposures.

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