Marianna's Blog


The Landscape of Your Life

Lessons & Reflections from the National Butterfly Center

Do you ever pause to look around your home, your yard, your life?

A big move and two upcoming anniversaries have given me reason to stop and really examine my place and time. I look around the National Butterfly Center, and can’t believe how things have changed! We’ve made incredible strides over the last five years, and I can’t even imagine where the next five will take us. Daily, we seem to carve out a little more space for the plants we want, while pushing back the ones we don’t. Those who visit often remark that we are a “work in progress,” to which I reply, “Aren’t all things?”

At home, I am wading through boxes, slowly unpacking, putting things here and there, but not where they belong or where they will reside, permanently. That will take more time than the two months since our move.  As Matt and I approach four years of marriage, we find ourselves, once again, homeowners. For anyone who’s been through a divorce or major life disruption, this is a big accomplishment. Although it’s a huge responsibility, it represents stability and some assurance that you are back on sure footing. 

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I Want it All, and I Want it Now

Lessons & Reflections from the National Butterfly Center

I’ve taken a million butterfly photos only to get a few hundred good ones. Not even great ones, just good. Some “pretty good,” and a few I’m a little proud of, but mostly a lot of shots where I felt lucky the wind didn’t blow and the butterfly didn’t move. I know DSLR cameras and automatic settings are supposed to make it easy for true amateurs like me to take great pictures, but it’s just not the case. It takes practice. And patience. And then perseverance.

When I think about photography, I think about those baking shows on TV. The shows where a bunch of hungry competitors are challenged to make the perfect cupcake in 30 minutes, or something ridiculous like that. You can give it a try, but your cupcake will not be half as good as theirs because baking is all about Chemistry; and creating recipes or making something from scratch requires a lot of knowledge and a lot of trial by fire.  In other words, you have to make—and toss—a bunch of bad cupcakes before you get some pretty good ones, the same way you have to take and erase countless bad pictures.

This Earth Day, I got to see nature and the National Butterfly Center through a new lens, again, like a spectator enjoying some curiosity (reference the championship bakers on TV). Beyond the everyday questions like, “What is the place?’ and “Why are you doing this?” we faced some criticism and got a few complaints about things the initiated would never think to mention.

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We are grateful for the support of:

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Inside the National Butterfly Center

Hours of Operation

September - March
8:00 - 5:00

April - August
8:00 - 5:00

Come See Us

National Butterfly Center
3333 Butterfly Park Drive
Mission, TX 78572
GPS Coordinates:
26.180243 -98.364973

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