Last night’s bright lights
by S.J. Velasquez • February 01, 2012 @ 12:49pm
I thought I knew the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens like the back of my hand. Turns out, it offers a whole new experience once the sun sets.
On Tuesday night, I wandered over to the gardens much like I've done a thousand times in my life, having grown up just two blocks away and currently residing about three miles from South Park. I wasn't sure what to expect from the Night Lights preview, since I'd only ever been in the gardens during the day.
The evening was really, well, lovely. A small group of visitors leisurely strolled among foliage, some with an adult beverage in hand (the preview event was sponsored by Dundee and Seagram's). I managed to hold a drink in one hand and my camera in the other. The beer, combined with necessary long shutter speeds, produced some wobbly images, which I've posted here. Next time I won't forget my tripod in my hallway at home.
The natural light that usually spills from the dome windows was replaced with multicolored artificial lights that flickered, faded and hovered across the foliage, creating a light show that was more serene than seizure-inducing. The familiar orchids, cacti and moss-covered dinosaurs (YEP) took on a whole new life in the brightly colored lights. The atmosphere was mellow though, not overstimulating. There were also special sculpture and floral displays scattered throughout the complex.
For more information on Night Lights, visit the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens website.