A Day in Pittsburgh - Phipps Conservatory

Happy Saturday!

And good morning to my friends in America!  I have to say, I am really liking the way that jetlag turns me into a functioning adult: today I even woke up at 6 and watched the sunrise.  I honestly cannot tell you the last time I did that.  Normally I am hitting the snooze repeatedly and feel accomplished when I roll out of bed at 08:00.

Anyhow! On to today's post! Yesterday, my cousin and her fiance treated my parents and I to a mini tour of the arts in downtown Pittsburgh.  We started with the Phipps Conservatory.   The conservatory is a beautiful collection of greenhouses filled with plants from all over the world.  Initially built in 1893, the locale has expanded throughout the years to include several rooms dedicated to a particular botanical theme.  (For example: the conservatory boasts a room dedicated to orchids and the flora of the Congo).

In addition to an array of botanical displays, Phipps also boasts several art installations, many by my hometown of Tacoma's own Dale Chihuly.  The juxtaposition of glass art, both by Chihuly and others, against the beauty of nature made for a unique and beautiful experience.

My favorite exhibit, however, had to be the butterfly room.  There was certainly something magical about parting the curtain and being met with a bouquet of butterflies fluttering about the air, weaving between plants and visitors alike. And despite the butterflies' agility, I managed to capture this photo of one resting on a fern.  I could have staid in there all day, if I am honest!

The butterflies were particularly nostalgic for me, as I had a butterfly garden when I was little (did anyone else have one of those?).  First, you received a small petri dish containing the eggs.  From there, you watched them hatch into larvae and grow into caterpillars, until they eventually hunkered down into cocoons and later emerged as butterflies.  It was great fun--that is, until my cat attacked one of my butterfly friends. That was not so fun.

But I digress!

Back to Phipps, where there luckily are no cats to harm the inhabitants of their lovely butterfly village. Overall, I could not think of a better way to have spent a Friday morning catching up with family and enjoying the beauty of nature.  If you ever find yourself in Pittsburgh, I highly recommend a visit to Phipps!

And with that, I am off to secure some breakfast before getting ready for today's activities.  I will be back sooner rather than later, however, to tell you about our next Friday excursion in Pittsburgh.

But until then: happy weekend!

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