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As we all know, the temperatures outside of a dwelling or commercial building have been challenging these last few days. The MEDIA has even coined a name for the frozen state of the country –The Polar Vortex.

To celebrate January 8, my one year anniversary of blogging, I decided it was time for a little vacation.  My destination was  Magic Wings in Greenfield, MA. It was another adventure with my blogging buddy Laura from touringnh.com. She had been before, and I’m sure will treat us to some amazing photos from this trip in the coming weeks. I’m pretty darned proud of my own shots, but it was the sensory overload I want to try to impart to you.

I walked inside from 13° F with my arctic grade, Cabela’s finest, anorak, covering a minimum of 3 layers. My long underwear has long underwear. OK, TMI as the kids say. The temperature ten minutes later was close to 80° F and so humid my hair began to curl.

I’m hoping my shots of the flowers and gentle wings that were everywhere will give you some semblance of warmth and the smells of jasmine. There were tiny baby quail scurrying around the gardens and parrots in trees. Ripe papaya lay in the leaf-litter that was alive with a rainbow of flitting colors. I peeled off layer upon layer and sat on the floor to photograph Porkchop the Lizard. At one point I said to a gal who worked there, “It must be amazing to come to a job today where the dress code is a t-shirt and shorts.” She laughed and said, “Yeah, it’s better than in the summer when it’s really hot in here!”

For an hour and a half, time stopped and you had to slow down and just really look and smell and breathe. Life was the color and life was in the air, the scent of soil and the sound of exotic finches and quail. As you leave the conservatory and gardens, you pass through as short hall with mirrors on either side. A blast of heat hits you and your are supposed to look at yourself in the mirrors to make sure you have no “hitch-hikers,” as we call them in beekeeping. I caught a glance of my pale, winter self and immediately missed the humidity of the garden. Through the last set of doors where it hits you again, how cold and monochrome the world is right now.

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1. An impossibly blue frog

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2. You can’t possibly think you are hiding

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3. Can’t get enough of a blue frog

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4. I see you

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5. Puff ball?

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6. Alice in Wonderland gown

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7. Orange Julius

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8. Mirror Image

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9. Red Puff-ball Truffella Tree? Calling Dr. Seuss!

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10. Truffella Tree fruit?

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11. Kama Sutra position 101?

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12. No words to describe his beauty, the other side of his wings were gray.

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13. Some are so tiny

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14. The Glass Wings all but disappear in flight

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15. There was a lot of Match.com going on in the garden

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16. Blue by you

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17. Intoxicating smell, something like jasmine

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18. Chenille bedspreads at the summer cottage

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19. Straight up butterfly porn

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20. Lemon and watermelon sherbet

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21. Haven’t seen YOU at the feeder lately

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22. Porkchop out for a stroll

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23. Lacy milk and chocolate confection

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24. Bath scrubby toy?

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25. Fireworks in January

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26. Rorschach test

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27. Large enough to be a lovely hat for me

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28. Rupert the angry tortoise out for some exercise, he was fast and he was pissed off

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29. Gateway to happiness

10 comments on “A Tropical Immersion

  1. Touring NH says:

    It certainly was a “magical” way to beat the winter chill for a few hours. It is one of my favorite places to visit this time of year and sharing it with you made it all the better! It’s hard to pick a favorite image but I love the frogs. Mother Nature certainly had fun with her frog canvases.

    1. Definitely NOT a Misadventure! Thanks for taking me along and giving me a couple of hours of respite from the cold clutches of winter!

  2. Stephanie sheridan says:

    Wow! wow! Wow! Simply breathtaking! Great photos. Love the blue frog, and you may have the only photo of a racing turtle ever taken!

    1. He was one angry turtle! Ah, I could close my eyes and be in Trinidad or Indonesia for a few short minutes, such a great escape in the winter.

  3. My daughter went there once and brought back tons of photos of butterflies but she didn’t say anything about the reptiles. The blue frogs are fantastic!

    1. Laura really likes the reptiles, there were hissing cockroaches as big as your thumbs! No thanks, even behind glass. Loved the blue poison dart frogs. It was well worth the trip, Alan!

  4. Amazing Martha! Your photos are beautiful. Those frogs are incredible. Are they from the Amazon? And I love the glass wing butterflies – totally new to me. It looks like the perfect winter outing. ~Terri

    1. Hi Terri. A trip with Laura always yields an adventure. I loved the Poison Dart Frogs and yes I believe they are from the Amazon. It was a pleasant respite from our cold weather.

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