Poets call butterflies flowers with wings. Spending a morning at Thanksgiving Point’s new Butterfly Biosphere, the varied colors, patterns and shapes all took to the air in every direction surrounding me.

Thanksgiving Point repurposed former retail space for the Butterfly Biosphere, and Okland Construction built the complex science complex. It only recently opened and is already a community favorite.

Entering the space, a series of exhibits explain the lifecycles of butterflies and other insects. Like other Thanksgiving Point educational displays, they are intended for children and invite being touched and experienced.

To capture many of these areas, I lowered the tripod so I was head high to a three-year old, and the spaces became more visually alive.

In addition to the displays, there is a lab room and a play yard modeled after a Costa Rican tree house with climbing, slides and costumes.

The heart of the project is the biosphere dome, which is filled with carefully curated tropical plants, water features, undulating rock and earth forms, winding paths and everywhere, vividly colored unusual butterflies.

It was at this point that my usually trusty assistant abandoned me. She grabbed the Canon 80 D with Small Rig Cage and ran off chasing butterflies. She said the best part of the day was feeling the moving air from the wings of a pair of butterflies circling her face.

The Biosphere was a great reminder to broaden my view of the life around me and better consider the importance of insects. It was also an opportunity to use the word gossamer. A guy just doesn’t have many opportunities to exercise his nuanced vocabulary.

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