It was another hot and humid day in Southwest Florida today. I kind of go into zombie mode when I am working so after about 10 minutes I forget all about the temperature and my surroundings melt away.
I was greeted by several butterflies outside of the aviary. They were flitting around in the butterfly garden alongside the screen house.
This was the only one that stayed still long enough to photograph it.
Yesterday I learned a time consuming lesson about using dark grout on a textured wall. Today I started off with a toothbrush (to clean grout from crevices) and things went much faster.
Lesson: Preparation is key!
By 1:30 I had finished grouting the main cloud and a few of the other mosaics on the side walls.
|© Britta Kuth|
These two butterflies that had a fair amount of white glass in them really popped to life once the black grout was added.
A visitor commented that the body on the butterfly to the left looked like "a little pickle".
|© (left) Jessey Lucas, (right) Floy Height|
|© Jessey Lucas|
This green and blue butterfly is just luminous after grouting!
|© Shirley Fralick|
|© Sherry Moon|
|© (left) Linda Biggers, (right) Lisa Fields Clark|
The dark grout brought out the ridges along my Gator-fly's back and enhanced the orange mirror glass in my skeleton headed butterfly (but it's hard to tell from the photo.)
The bright colors on artist Cheri Bosela's frogger-fly also popped when I grouted it. I purposely left the millefiori wings ungrouted. Grout tends to sink into the crevices and swallow up the mille so I opted to leave the wings alone. They were held in the tight by the thinset.
|© (Gator-fly & Skeleton head) Eve Lynch, (Frogger-fly) Cheri Bosela, (mini red butterfly) Silva Hayes|
Here's two shots of the whole cloud grouted.
Here the the rest of the butterfly mosaics that I got finished before I left today. These are from the side walls closest to the Butterfly Aviary.
|© Yvonne Yaar|
Helen Schloss-Griffin's pig-fly is now visible on the wall. He was blending in a bit too much before I grouted the edges. Now he jumps out at you. Almost every family with kids makes a bee line straight for him.
|© Helen Schloss-Griffin|
|© Cindi Buhrig|
|© Ann Shaver|
- I made flyers up about the project and the front desk staff printed them and handed them out to visitors.
- I had a nice gentleman from the Quakers Meeting (a group that meets in the nature center's rental facility) come up to me and congratulate me on the butterfly mural. He said that he would pass flyers out to his meeting attendees. So thoughtful!
There are still about 2 dozen butterflies that have to be installed. The artwork from Katie Waller's group is among those. I haven't forgotten you guys!
The remaining small filler flies that were sent (Ann Shaver, Cindy Buhrig) will go in last. I probably won't be grouting these. Too fussy!
I'll leave you with more pics of the Nature Center's animals...
Buffalo Bill the Sulcata Tortoise snoozing in the afternoon. He puts his big feet straight out in the back and just lounges. I even caught him yawning! So cute.
|Buffalo Bill - Calusa Nature Center|
Regan the raccoon hanging out in her enclosure. This girl is a little devil!
|Regan the raccoon - Calusa Nature Center|
I found this Cuban Tree Frog hidden among the plants in the Butterfly Aviary. You just really only see the top half of him here.
I also came upon a long, black snake sunning itself on some pond fronds close to the bird aviary. I didn't take a photo of it because I was too busy running away. If my herpetologist son had been there, it would be living at our house now. Thankfully I escaped that fate.
More progress next week...stay tuned.