The two-tailed swallowtail butterfly is, to me, one of the most beautiful butterflies around. It is large, very colorful, and at times almost seems to “pose” for lucky photographers.
Last Friday, May 10, was a perfect day for a lot of things at the Albuquerque BioPark. You have already seen the variety of iris that were in bloom that day. Close to where a lot of the iris were blooming, was a patch of deep pink flowers whose name I do not know, but to which butterflies were attracted. The BioPark has a butterfly enclosure, but it will not even open until the weekend of May 25. This two-tailed swallowtail butterfly is one of our native butterflies out in the open. This is the State Butterfly of Arizona, but we certainly have our share here in New Mexico (for which I am grateful). I have them in my yard, which is in the middle of Albuquerque, every summer.
The iris were gorgeous last week at the BioPark. For my iris-loving friends, I am sorry I do not have the names of these – they were not marked. But, I think you can still enjoy the beauty of the flowers. They were everywhere throughout the BioPark.
Redbud trees – where I grew up, these trees are quite common in early spring. I have seen them in Albuquerque, but they are not so abundant here. The common variety in Oklahoma, native to the region, is Cercis canadensis var Texensis or “Texas redbud.” It is beautiful and hardy. The Albuquerque Biopark has examples of that variety, and they were blooming on Saturday. There is also the Eastern redbud, along with its many varieties.
The Biopark has another variety of redbud, Cercis canadensis var. texensis ‘Oklahoma.’ It is the State Tree of Oklahoma. To be honest, until last Saturday I was not aware of differences between the two, or even that those two varieties existed. In walking through the BioPark, however, I turned a corner and suddenly came upon one whose flowers were darker, with much more intense color, and really markedly abundant flowers. Fortunately, that one had a marker. The common redbud is a beautiful tree; the Cercis canadensis var. texensis ‘Oklahoma,’ is, in my eye, even more beautiful.
These images are from Saturday, April 6. Yesterday and today (Monday and Tuesday, April 8 and 9) we have had strong winds. I doubt many spring blooms remain, not only at the Biopark but around town. The best of the spring bloom was short-lived, but glorious while it lasted. There are the summer-blooming flowers to which to look forward: roses, hibiscus, cosmos, sunflowers, and many others. Spring bloom 2013 has been glorious!
Spring bulbs – tulips, daffodils, and others were seen in colorful abundance at the Albuquerque Biopark on Saturday. I was really glad I made it out then, because all were just beginning to look a little worn. Today (Monday) we are having high winds, and I doubt photographing the spring bloom will be as good after today as it was on the weekend.
This is just a sampling of Saturday’s spring bulb beauty.
Yesterday so much was blooming that the beauty was almost overwhelming: flowers on the ground, and flowering trees. The air was filled with sweet scents wafting by.
Images of the redbuds will be posted in a subsequent post.
Here are images of two of the flowering trees with white blossoms. I do not know the names of these trees, only that they were beautiful and had a wonderful scent. The images do not begin to convey their beauty in reality.
Pansies – one of the early spring flowers here in Albuquerque seemed to be at their peak today at the Albuquerque Biopark. Actually, there were also glorious bulbs, flowering trees and shrubs, and color everywhere. This post will show you the pansies. They always make me smile, and I hope they brighten your day as well. Other images from today will be posted in subsequent posts.
And, finally, the pansy I call “the Rohrschach pansy.” 🙂
Thanks to Julio Hardy and his staff at the Worldwide Photography Gala Awards for selecting me as one of their Photographers of the Week for last week. Beginning April 10, and running for a year, I will have work in the Gallery of Photographers at that site. This is a wonderful photography award for exposure of my work.
The selection was based on the images in the last two posts here: “Spirits of the Old Adobes” and “Jellyfish Series.” “Spirits of the Old Adobes” is a personal fun project that I did mainly for myself, that combined in a fun way for me work I have done over the last 8 months. It goes beyond that, however. Every time I look at an old adobe, I wonder about the people who built it, the people who lived in it, perhaps for generations, and wonder where their descendants are now. I wonder what they believed, what rituals they observed, what were the important events in their lives, and on and on. Populating the abandoned adobes with Day of the Dead figures somehow made them feel “complete” to me at one level. I am really happy that the “Spirits of the Old Adobes” was selected for inclusion.
The other series selected is “Jellyfish in the Desert,” the jellyfish I photographed at the Albuquerque Aquarium just a little over a week ago. That also was a personal project I had wanted to do for some time. I finally went out and did it. There is a great deal of personal satisfaction in having those images recognized as well.
I’ll post a link to the Photographers Gallery when the gallery goes up on April 10. I am really pleased to have my work selected at this time, and to have it included alongside photographers such as Bobbie Goodrich (also in New Mexico), Dianne Yudelson, and Marguerite Garth, among others.
Once again, my thanks go to Julio Hardy, Alex, and the staff at WPGA for recognizing my work with this photography award. The WPGA has been supportive of my work for the last three years.
The Albuquerque Biopark has a small, but very nice, aquarium. For years I have been intrigued by the jellyfish. However, I was not sure I would ever be able to photograph the ones at the Biopark, because they are in a dark room. Additionally, the moon jellyfish are in a very dark tank. The Pacific sea nettles are in a dark room but are in a brightly lit tank. So, until yesterday, I would go, look at, and enjoy the jellyfish, but I never tried to photograph them. Yesterday I had time to think and to play, and for a Sunday there were surprisingly few people there, so I was comfortable taking my time. These are some of the images I was able to create yesterday.
Pacific Sea Nettle
More Moon Jellyfish
The Albuquerque Biopark is really a gem in the desert. For those of you who live in the area, it is a great place to visit at any time. For visitors, it is something to put on your list of things to do when you are in New Mexico.
The Albuquerque Biopark is celebrating its blooming bulbs in March. A few crocus and daffodils are beginning to bloom on the grounds, but the show at present consists of calla lilies and a few other assorted flowers in the Mediterranean Conservatory.
Over the years I have grown a few calla lilies. Somehow, I had expected the ones at the Biopark to be larger. Most were either the size I had grown, or even a little smaller. On the one hand, I did not feel like such a failure as a gardener of calla lilies. On the other hand, I was a bit disappointed as a photographer that there were no “giant” calla lilies on display. What I can say, however, is that the calla lilies (and other flowers) blooming today were quite colorful!
I went today to see some of the bulbs that were blooming in the Mediterranean Conservatory. Until today, I had never paid much attention to the building itself. That may be because when the trees and other plants have leaves, the building does not stand out so much. But today I found the building itself an interesting photographic subject.
Another post will show some of the beautiful bulbs that were blooming within the Mediterranean Conservatory today. This images in this post, however, are of the outside of the Mediterranean Conservatory itself. The sun was out when I first arrived, but clouds had moved in by the time I was making the last images.
I would encourage everyone to consider visiting the Biopark. As spring arrives, it will begin to change almost daily. The Biopark is one of Albuquerque’s jewels.