The Tucson Botanical Gardens import crysalids under USDA rules from butterfly farms around the world. The butterflies then emerge and live out their lives in the controlled greenhouse, full of lots of plants and nector.
...including carnivorous plants like the one above (yep, you could see some butterflies down inside). Lucky they are plants, otherwise they would really have some butterflies in their stomachs.
Here are some of the crysalids in the window of the "nursery" being unpacked and setup for eventual emergence. I had no idea that they come in so many colors.
Wandering around out on the grounds to cool off after being in the humid & hot butterfly greenhouse, I found a few blooming flowers such as the iceplant above.
Its been a number of years since I last visited the Tucson Botanical Gardens -- I like it and will be back much sooner. I stopped for lunch at their little cafe and had a Mediterranean chicken salad which was quite good and reasonably priced.
One of the impressive things of note with the pics above is that they were taken today with my Canon G9 P&S camera which was fully submerged in over a foot of water on new year's eve -- sigh.
I was sitting above one of the fountain pools listening to a cool psychobilly band called the Mission Creeps. While juggling a hot chocolate, sweater and program guide, I somehow managed to knock my camera soundly off the edge and into the fountain below. Since I didn't have the shutter set to "bulb" (smile), the camera promptly sunk to the bottom. Not good, not good, not good at all.
Usually when I've heard of folks having this kind of accident with a P&S camera, the results are catastrophic & repair not worth the delta with a replacement camera. I assumed the worst, tried not to make matters worse by kicking myself for my carelessness, and chose to stay downtown for the rest of the celebration (hence my missing event pictures). When I pulled the soggy camera out of the fountain, the front green focus assist beam was on, even though the camera was off. Hmmmm. I pulled the battery, memory card, and poured as much water out of the soggy camera as possible.
When I got home I decided that since things were pretty grim anyway that taking action was probably slightly better than not. So I shook out more water, blew some compressed air around in the battery, memory, and usb slots and ... [WARNING -- I DO NOT RECOMMEND taking these actions as they could certainly make things much, much worse; I'm just describing the procedure/risks that I chose to take.] ... put it in my clothes dryer.
No, no tumbling. My dryer came with a removable shelf that could be inserted in it for, I think, drying shoes? Never used it before. So I put the camera on the non-moving shelf and set the dryer for its delicate lowest temperature setting. I checked the temperature inside after 5-10 minutes and it seemed reasonable; after all, our cars get really hot in Tucson in the summer.
After about 90 minutes of this, I pulled the camera out. Hmm, a little too hot I think. Outside was certainly dry, nothing melted (!), but the rear LCD screen had either a condensation fog or the LCD had crystallized from the temperature... Still, not a lot more to lose, so I popped the battery that had been in the camera back in and powered it up (another not recommended to do so soon after soaking in case there is still water present). The front lens opened and, no surprise, there appeared to be some condensation inside the lens elements somewhere, God only knows what happened to the sensor. Rear LCD display showed image, but very hazy from the fog mentioned above. Ok, well that was pretty much what I was expecting anyway, one last sigh and time for bed.
In the afternoon yesterday, New Years Day, I checked back on the camera and powered it up again. To my amazement, the internal lens condensation had cleared, leaving a couple of faint water marks on an internal element. Slightly less surprising, but a bet I wouldn't have made, was that the rear LCD display was now also looking normal. Hmmm. Out to the yard to take some test shots to see how bad those dried water spots would affect images. Not bad. The sensor seems to be undamaged, amazing.
So today, rather than taking my older S400 to the Botanical Gardens, I took my formerly waterlogged G9 and took the snaps above. Can you say lucky? I have the distinct impression that if I was to repeat the accident and my twisted recovery method multiple times, more often than not I'd end up with an unusable camera...
I've still got to give some thought on the trade offs of contacting Canon to pay for full refurbishing versus continuing to use as-is and eventually move it into a back up camera role for more at risk activities (like bicycle mounted time lapse videos). One of the wild cards is not knowing what was in the water and what that might do over time... Thankfully this was not a DSLR, in which case I'd have been simultaneously contacting the manufacturer and my bank.
I've heard other people say this many times, but I obviously wasn't practicing it -- "when around water, camera around neck or firmly around wrist". Lesson learned.
Sorry for the long story, but I thought I would suck up my pride and share my story. Had I known I was going to blog about this I would have taken some pictures that would have been truely disturbing, from a camera owner's point of view.
Oh, did I say those were butterflies above? Those are hummingbirds... (smile)
[2009 new to me #1, successfully dried out a water submerged camera; #2 visited the Butterfly Magic exhibition at TBG.]