Of Flutterbys and Flower Blooms

Finally! A cool summer day after weeks of 90+ degrees.  We decided to head to Chatfield Farms, division of the Denver Botanic Gardens. This is part of our plan to get out in nature at least once a week.

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Our recent heat wave made that goal difficult to follow through with, combining hot flashes with heat waves is a dangerous thing. We try find paths that are not only interesting but shaded too.  Personal misters and water are a must.

Chatfield Farms is a consolidation of several farms that the Army Corp of Engineers took when they built Chatfield Dam, making the area a flood plain. The old farmhouses are still there and kept in good repair for events such as weddings. We were saddened by the stories of families displaced from their homesteads, many had been there for several generations.

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Chatfield Farms offers multiple pathways lined with wildflowers, water features and wildlife.

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These ducks were more than happy to respond in kind when Sherry quacked at them.

The pathway lead us to a children’s playground and workmen removing what was left of the previous night’s entertainment, Chris Isaak. WAIT! We missed Chris Isaak! We both are huge fans of his. We need to pay a lot more attention to the summer concert schedule.

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We neglected to pick up a park map at the Visitor’s Center, so we simply went in the direction that looked most interesting upon reaching a fork in the road.  We did get a bit disoriented, but eventually found our way back to the car.

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There were beautiful gardens everywhere we roamed.

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Many of the flowers we couldn’t identify, so we took pictures to show our horticultural expert, Julie.

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We tried not to get too close, the bees and bumblebees were out and about.

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Bridges were lined with flowers in full bloom. A great spot for photos.

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The water features often had nearby benches, creating a very serene area for quiet reflection.

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The true highlight of the gardens was the explosion of color, in our semi-arid state, bright colors in nature can lift your mood.

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After touring the gardens we stopped in at the Butterfly Center.

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I’ve always called butterflies, flutterbys. It seems more appropriate, doesn’t it? Their wings flutter gently as they go from bloom to bloom.

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They try to keep a minimum of 10 varieties in the house at any given time but this can vary due to season and lifespan. We were told that most butterflies live up to two weeks. There are a few that can survive even through winter. So we learned something new!

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Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

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Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)

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Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

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Monarch ( Danaus plexippus)

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As they come to the end of their lifespan, their wings start to look like stained glass

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The Mourning Cloaks and Buckeyes were abundant.

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This gorgeous lady is a Swallowtail.

I picked up a couple of hitchhikers during our stroll.

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This park is worth a visit, an oasis of nature in the heart of the city.

We’d love to hear your suggestions for hikes & nature trails in and around Colorado.

Here’s to a happy life!

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MaryBeth & Sherry hikers

 

 

 

 

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