I woke up this morning knowing I wanted to head out somewhere, but as soon as I saw that it was raining I knew my options were limited. Then, I remembered that I hadn't made a trip to Tower Hill in quite a while. I looked up their website: Tower Hill Botanic Garden website and noticed they had some fun activities going on this weekend.
They were having things like apple tasting, a couple exhibits, a vegetable garden tour as well as a vendor fair. So, I grab my camera and made my way over there. I also wanted to make sure I got at least one photo of the fall colors. For those of you in much warmer climates it truly is very impressive when all the leafs start to change.
By the way, don't be thrown off by the title. Tower Hill is a fantastic place to visit year round! There is always a lot to see and do there.
Of course I came for the apple tasting. I love fruit!
I then walked around to see what the local vendors were showing. I picked up some honey sticks which I chewed on as I explored some more.
And here's the tree I promised.
All photos taken with the Fuji X-T1 and 60mm 2.4 macro, 35mm 1.4
Before I ever picked up a camera to take photos of clients I was always intrigued by the world around me. I would go out and take photos of anything and sometimes the closer I could get the better. And, its a practice that I continue today as it really helps me to stay focused.
So, earlier today, I headed out with my macro lens to see what I'd find.
These are a few samples.
My dad is up visiting with me this week. And yes, he is also big into exploring. So we decided to head out to western MA. We visited two locations, but the second will be left up to another blog post.
Our first stop was to Magic Wings in South Deerfield. I while ago someone had mentioned it to me as the go to place to take photos of butterflies. I had always wanted to go, but had just never made it there. From what I could tell from their website I knew that I'd probably like it. I really like taking photos of butterflies and just let them do what they do. This is what I call true photojournalism - watching, waiting and then taking the shot.
When we arrived I saw that it was a very large place and was anxious to check it out.
When you walk in the main entrance you have a large common area with tables to sit and relax. You have the gift shop and information desk to the left and to the right you have a cafeteria area. Through the gift shot is the entrance to an exhibit and that leads into the main butterfly room. I was not expecting the exhibit area and found many reptiles and insects to take photos of. My dad wanted to go check out the butterflies, but I was busy checking out all the reptiles. The room started to fill up with people so I eventually made it into the huge butterfly rooms.
If you're not a reptile person please skip further down to see some awesome butterflies.
- All these photos were taken with the 60mm Fuji macro lens.
These are some of the tiny frog eggs floating about.
These two look like they are sun tanning.
I like this one because this guy is looking at his buddy attempting to climb.
At this point I decided to head into the main room. This place was larger than I expected. There was a small pond, a presentation area, a pagoda and several benches to sit and enjoy the butterflies. There were hundreds and hundreds of butterflies there. And, many seemed tamed as you could walk up to them and take their photo without them taking off immediately. I also found that they had some birds there as well. And I was happy to see a few reptiles on display as well.
I admit that I didn't take many photos of the plants and trees there. But most bushes, trees, plants were taller than I was. Often times you were looking up to see some butterflies. There was so much to look at and even with families and kids walking around it never felt crowded.
This is the Atlas Moth. These guys are always so majestic. The ones I've seen are usually this size with a wingspan of about 14-16 inches.
This guy was chilling so I had to take a couple of him. The second was taken 10 minutes later when I made my way back there.
There were several of these feeding stations around. I was lucky enough to see this little guy there.
This guy was the king of the hill.
And this is mr Finch. In this photo I'm probably around a foot and a half from him and he was just looking around.
Here's another one near their feeding station.
I'm not joking when I saw that I could have stayed there another hour or two whether it be in the reptile area or checking out all the butterflies. I even think I saw a parrot at one point and a chameleon. And there was a koi pond there as well. But when you're hungry you have to go eat.
So we decided to go next door to the Monarch's Restaurant. The service and food was very good.
After a late lunch we headed out for our second stop of the day.
Today was just fabulous. The weather cooperated and I got the chance to visit one of my favorite places, the Tower Hill Botanic Garden. I've been a member for a few years now and always enjoy visiting. I never see the same thing twice, and often find new plants and flowers along the way. This time I took my friend David, who is also a photographer, as he had never been before. We both use Fuji cameras and with our 60mm macro lenses we decided to venture out there and explore.
If you're in New England please visit them as there is so much to see. Its a great place for families, students and to just spend the day seeing everything they have to offer.
Don't forget to visit the Twigs Cafe. We made sure to stop for a bite. We enjoyed some very tasty sandwiches and then went back to taking photos.
Since we had our Macro lenses with us we decided to spend the day taking close up photos. Its funny how many times we found something interesting and David telling me he could spend hours in that one area taking photos. I had to remind him we still had a lot more to see.
Near the parking lot we saw this nice plant with many flowers on it. The bees seemed to like them as well.
I like these small plants. I have some in my yard as well, but they tend to be early bloomers and enjoy spreading.
Walking along the path I saw this blossom tree. These are nice and bright and really add a lot of color to the scenery.
There were a ton of daffodils everywhere which was nice to see. There were different varieties as well.
Here is a close up.
Yup another photo of these small plants. I just really like their bright color against all the green around.
When the bees and wasps and hornets are out you know Spring is here. So, I had to get at least one photo of one of them.
Further along the path we were treated to several areas filled with tulips. I'm always happy to see these every year, but David had not seen so many in one place. He sat down and took a lot of photos. This cluster is in front of the main entrance to the Tower Hill information center building. I'm so glad Spring is here!
Here is another angle so you can see how tall some of them are.
As you can see from the two previous photos there were some smaller ones growing underneath as well. Here's a baby tulip.
And here are the parents! Just kidding.
From there we continued on to the backside of the gardens towards the pond area.
This plant is found near water a lot around here, but is often curled up. These caught my attention.
Alongside the path I saw this very small plant. It appears it hasn't bloomed yet and almost has a wintery look to it.
This was another wildflower growing along the path.
On our way to the Twigs cafe to get some lunch we walked by the water fountain located in the middle courtyard area. I saw these tulips getting hit by the sun.
After lunch we walked around a little and then decided to head out. These two tulips were near the road so I preferred to have them in black and white. I really like how the sun is hitting them.
A little further I saw this grip of tiny flowers low to the ground.
Once again I had a great time walking around the Tower Hill Botanic Garden. I know I'll be back soon as some areas haven't fully bloomed yet and I really like seeing their vegetable garden as well. But, even so, we didn't get to see everything on this walk. I know David enjoyed taking photos as well.
So if you're local or are visiting check it out! There is tons to see and some great food the Twigs Cafe!
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