Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Butterfly Hail

Today we joined the LAF (Learning as Families) Homeschool Group on a trip to the Butterfly and Orchid Garden in Thames.

It's not a huge place but there were plenty of butterflies around us.

Here Agent Smelly is holding a couple of fabric flowers to help lure the butterflies onto her hands. They very kind have some of these at the front so that you can borrow them. If you look closely there is a orange butterfly just about to land on the red flower in her hand. Both girls had quite a few land on them.

These butterflies are a rather boring brown until they open their wings and then you are hit with most brilliant blue. I was thrilled that I was able to catch that split second when this one opened it's wings on this stunning flower.

I am clueless as to what the flower was. If anyone does know, please let me know.

The Fashionista was more taken with Little Miss R than the butterflies, whom she fussed over like an old mother hen. Granted Little Miss R is really cute so I can sort of understand her fascination.

Another beautiful butterfly. I would like to be extremely clever here and tell you it's name but I have no idea although they did have a board in the butterfly house with pictures and their names. I looked but remember zilch!

This one I call the Purple Orchid ...impressive how I came up with that name ey?

The Monarch butterfly. I am pretty happy with some of my shots today.

These butterflies were huge but they cannot eat and they die in six days ... bizarre!

Once we'd finished at the butterfly house we all moved back into town and had lunch in a park, whilst all the kids had fun on the playground equipment.

We spent a lovely afternoon with the group. The girls got to say hi to some friends and make some new ones and I got to talk to some real live adults who also homeschool. Although we didn't really discuss any homeschooling to be honest.

Despite the prediction of some rain, the day was just lovely. We three even got a little sun-kissed. Then on the drive home it was a different story. I said to the girls that I thought I could see rain ahead of us in the direction of our home. About 30 mins later we started noticing some lightning around us.

I then thought I saw something that looked like snow flakes and thought my eyes were deceiving me and that it may have been some blossom blowing across the car. There were a few rain drops, nothing much to worry about and then kapow, it came down so heavy and loud that the girls and I were literally yelling to be heard and the window just fogged over. It still didn't seem too bad, then I turned onto State Highway 2 ...

and we noticed it had started to hail ...

appears we had driven into a  hail storm!!!! So much for my blossom theory.

This happens to be a very busy state highway in New Zealand ... can you believe it?

It got a little worse but we kept going, very, very carefully and very, very slowly.

There were a lot of cars that had pulled over but with the thunder and lightening and the hailstorm the girls were starting to panic. So whilst it still seemed relatively safe we kept going. A few other people did the same as us and we all kept our distance and nicely motored along on both sides of the road. This lasted for over 10 minutes of our trip, which seemed like forever! 

Just a minute or two from home the rain stopped, I passed a couple of local farms and could see all the water still lying in their fields but when I drove onto our property I could see that our land was still dry.

We could still see and hear the thunder and lightening for a while longer but we must have just been on the edge of the storm as we didn't get the rain or hail here. If we looked to the left towards the lake it was black and to the rice it was nice and blue. The temperature has plummeted here so we all grabbed out our winter pj's again.

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