My favourite section of the Houston Museum of Natural Science is the Cockrell Butterfly Center. This little section of rain forest (including a waterfall) is housed in a glass dome and contains hundreds of brightly coloured butterflies flitting around. If you are lucky, they will sometimes land on you (remember to smear yourself with fruit juice before arriving 🙂 ).
Aside from the overall spectacle of such a huge number of butterflies, the center is also appealing because it gives me a chance to play with my macro gear. This time round, I broke out the Tamron 90mm macro lens and Nikon macro flash and spent an hour or so getting friendly with the residents. Here’s a Julia butterfly that was kind enough to sit for a portrait.
If you are visiting, especially in the summer months, I’ve found that the dome is a very much more pleasant place in the morning. Once the sun starts shining through that glass, the temperature and humidity soars and you find yourself in a sweat bath pretty quickly. In the morning, however, the weather in there is very pleasant and no shower is required as soon as you leave.
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