The Franklin Park Conservatory is one of my favorite places to visit. It's beautiful and you feel transported to different ends of the earth. Some might say, "Er, are you sure it's a good idea to take your calm, and well behaved albeit perfectly wonderful family of boys to a place with delicate and rare plants and a glass exhibit?" While my boys don't qualify as calm, they're usually pretty well behaved and I've found that most museum workers love to see curious and engaged kids come their way. I will admit that we've been avoiding the area with the bonsai trees. Wisely, I think, as the thought of Winter3 looking at (touching, poking, bending) a very, very old mini tree gives me heart palpitations. The same goes for the orchids. Oh, and the desert area with all the cacti. Hmmm, well that makes it sound like I miss half of the exhibits.
We always spend the most time in the tropical water garden area. The area is enclosed, warm and damp. It's filled with tropical plants, flowers and currently is home to the annual butterfly exhibit. Every day, butterflies hatch (in some sort of conservatory hatchery, I suppose!?) and are released. You might think that Winter3 is a danger to butterflies but since he doesn't exactly sneak up on anything, the butterflies see him coming a mile away. It's really pretty funny. Imagine Winter3, stopping in his tracks, pointing and saying in his loud whisper "Oh look! Der's a buuuteeerrfly" You can almost see the butterfly look over its shoulder and fly off in a different direction, quickly. It doesn't prevent him from having a great time, running on the walks through the plants and flowers, finding waterfalls and chasing his brothers.
My favorite part of this last visit was seeing the
Chihuly installation coming to life. Dale Chihuly is a Seattle based artist (eye patch and all) and his studio is well known for producing fantastic and colorful glass art. The Conservatory owns a large collection of Chihuly glass and this installation uses pieces from the collection as well as borrowed pieces. The glass looks alive when placed among the plants. Truly breathtaking.
Here, I hope I don't have three boys falling head first into the water. I also have to tell Spring7 that he can't take coins out.
Spring7 in the tropical house.
A lush garden of glass orbs.
Shhhh, please don't tell! Fall22months snagged a leaf!
My favorite piece.
All the art work aside, this was the highlight of the trip. A big fan.