Wednesday, April 17, 2013

botanical gardens

When I was a kid, my family would go to the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, which my sister called Birdie House. In the dead of a Pacific Northwest winter, which equates to six months of bleary greyness, entering the crystal dome of the conservatory would transport us to another place, somewhere warm and bright and colourful. The Birdie House air was humid and balmy, in imitation of a rainforest. And though Vancouver is, or at least was, a rainforest itself, that denseness of air still felt exotic. 

Sometimes our dad would buy us a bag of Miss Vickie's potato chips from the vending machine at the entrance to share as a treat, and we'd happily crunch along, waiting on the bench while he paid the admission fees. Even when cold grey rain pattered on the glass panes, it felt like a vacation.  

Last weekend I went to the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center in Providence, where I took these photos. I hadn't gone to an indoor greenhouse-conservatory in years, and the colours and quality of light brought me back to cheerful afternoons spent at Birdie House.