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Lucas Nursery on Slavia Rd. in Oviedo is a place full of too many choices. There are plants and trees, grass, more plants, bushes, pottery and even chairs and tables.  dsc02886 dsc02768 They

even have live lady bugs for sale! But I was not going for plants at this time of the year. I was going for the butterfly encounter which costs  $7.50, a bit pricey I thought.
I arrived at the encounter just before 60 small children were coming through, and though I was able to take many photos. I didn’t feel like I got my moneys worth as I felt the need to get out of the way as the butterfly rooms are actually not very large and have small pathways, so I spent maybe about a half an hour experiencing the nature. The kids seemed so sweet and eager to learn. And I listened in to their butterfly talk and the children were getting wonderful information by the employees which was an important talk about nature so kids could appreciate the surroundings.  There was also a local photographer inside with his equipment and he was busy focusing on a newly
hatched tiger swallowtail.  dsc02777 He said he sells a lot of butterfly photos. And there were plenty all flitting around. Zebra longwings, monarchs, swallowtails and they had the most adorable petite quails called button quail. resizequail they were way too fast and secretive and did not want to be photographed! I so adored them! The plants were all over showcasing what could be used to appeal to the different butterflies for food and attaching their chrysalis to. dsc02809 The Butterfly encounter had a fantastic gift shop with all sorts of fun gifts and knick knacks. dsc05400
dsc05403 They had large net types of houses to buy and have butterfly encounters of your own.

The nursery itself was busy with people buying. The orchids at the front counters were so enticing, but I am a notorious house plant killer. dsc02881 It was good to finally see this business that has quite the reputation for having a multitude of plant and tree specimans. I can see why people are excited and can only imagine what it looks like when more things are in bloom. Within the Butterfly encounter, it is a slightly heated building so the plants looked vibrant, or maybe it was so alive because of all the colorful pairs of wings darting about.
I was drawn to the luna months which are big and fat and fuzzy and live off their stored fat, therefore, they don’t live long. (sorry, they were enclosed in mesh, so no pics.)  dsc05397 Here’s one of a luna caterpiller.
It was certainly a colorful morning and I took a number of what I thought were good shots. AND fishing was excellent and I caught a bass, but that’s tomorrow’s blog, one day at a time…or was that a soap opera?

dsc03607chnaukahbuhsb-1

dsc03595 For years I have had the most pathetic looking “Chanukah bush” ever.  It was meant just to be a place holder, a traditional holiday tree for the Chanukah/Christmas presents to go around. We celebrate both holidays because there were two traditions with parents of mixed faith. The Chanukah/X-mas bush I put up closer to X-mas goes up in ten minutes being that it is a midget 2 feet high and I slap the trimmings on and the kids make fun of it every year. But it was quick to put up and take down with minimal storage. That’s the logical side of Mom.
Last night an angel visited my house, her name is Andrea Angel and she brought over a Chanukah bush extraordinaire! It was all decked out in golds and reds and she had even used some of my old, little wooden ornaments. My favorites were the glittery fish and gorgeous grapes, and of course, the red beaded birds, WOW! It looks so opulent and flushes the room with warmth. It is a glorious bush! And what generousity to have taken the time to go and buy the tree and ornaments and then take hours to arrange all this!
My little bush went into hiding after this, there is no comparison to my lack of concern for a “token” holiday tree and Andrea Angels, “meticulous attention to each detail”, blow out! But she is like that, Andrea could create beautiful, decorator Christmas trees for a living, her own tree is a 7ft elegant standout. Usually we try and get all the cats together and take their holiday picture under her tree. This year, because they were so closely shaved, none would pose, they are still brooding over their nakedness.
Andrea is so talented, she paints too, the cutest cat pictures! But that will be another blog. For now I just love plugging that tree in and basking in the holiday glow. It makes me feel so special and loved and festive, I feel like running out and buying lots of presents for under the tree to compliment it…OH, now I get it, I understand why people always have so many presents under these bigger trees, they require more square footage, therefore more bounty – and here I thought she was an angel and did it just for me…why that little devil…

comparing-treescomparing trees, get out the microscope for mine, see it? The little green thing? Now look at what I have! Thanks to Andrea Angel  dsc035941

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