Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Animated Events: Accounting and Butterflies

Malay Lacewing (Cethosia hypsea)

Tax time has come and gone. And as much as people dread this time of year, I've come to look forward to it. Years ago, my accountant moved across the state and sent out a very polite 'thank you for your business over the years' letter to all of us in his former location. Well, we've been friends for years and I've always been very happy with his work, so it was only natural to keep working with him, distance notwithstanding. As his office is only an hours drive from mine, every Spring, I drive out to Grand Rapids: once to drop off my tax binder and once to pick it up and sign any paperwork.

One of the things that makes the trip so enjoyable is that this is during the same time Meijer Gardens has their yearly butterfly exhibit (with a healthy dose of orchids from their Spring orchid event).

Hecale Longwing (Heliconius hecale)

So far, I haven't done any drawings or paintings of the butterflies. Need to break out the colored pencils and watercolors and change that. Back in the day, my friend Angie did this beautiful colored pencil drawing of a butterfly and posted it on her social media. Still wishing I had been quick enough on the draw to buy it (though I do hope it went to a good home where it'll be appreciated for years to come).

Small Postman (Heliconius erato)

Here was a nice surprise: a butterfly that I'd never seen before. I always see the Blue Morpho/Common Morpho butterflies, but this time there was a White Morpho hanging out on a stick. Wish he'd flexed his wings though. When I saw him flying a short while later, the tips of his wings were a rich orange color on the inside.

White Morpho (Morpho polyphemus)

While I haven't done any sketching at the Meijer Gardens in the past, I have played with some of the video functions on my iPhone. One of the more interesting surprises came when I took some slow-motion videos of the butterflies as they flapped their wings. The interesting surprise was seeing how their wings bend as they flap up and down as opposed to staying rigidly straight. Check out the video below, especially from around the 20 second to 30 second mark.

Afterwards, since the weather was beautiful, I walked around the outdoor grounds where the Japanese garden is always a treat.

And though I always expect to see the fish swimming around in the shallows, the turtles were out in force this time around.

Seeking out a little peace and serenity sure makes tax time sting a lot less.

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