Nov 9th, 2017

#Bflies Instagram Winners

Thank you for keeping our #Bflies Instagram contest interesting year, after year!

Collage of images of submissions from Butterflies LIVE!

Thanks to all those who submitted photos in the first half of our contest, including: caseyh212, maetwagn, verucavonzora, ashleyfarly, matt.king4, cheritrex, nico_thorn, scottmatherly, iamryanjsmith, stradermelissa, hambo.keh, matt.king4, fiberglasslungs, mrschelseaferg, gayidle, double_a_momma.

One of my favorite things to do each spring and summer is to look through the tons of Instagram images you post online, not just of Butterflies LIVE!, but of you and your loved ones enjoying this beautiful place. Of all our Instagram contests, the #Bflies Instagram contest is always the most popular and also the most difficult to judge. Each year, our visitors take their creativity (and our contest) to the new level.
Here are a few of our favorites: the delicate beauty of a butterfly flitting through sunlight, a macro shot of a butterfly’s scales looking like furry glitter, the never-ending curiosity of children, the showy, tropical colors of wings. We see photos that feature extraordinary moments and nature’s amazing camouflage (see @leilagaskin’s dead leaf butterfly, Kallima inachus, in the lower right corner). Humans love butterflies because they symbolize a transformation, a becoming, a realization of our full potential. Their fluttering wings make our heart soar and they make it easy to get caught up in the beauty of the moment, where we lose all sense time.

Sixteen of our favorite Butterflies LIVE! photos from the #Bflies Instagram contest.

Thanks to everyone who visited Butterflies LIVE! this year and entered our #Bflies Instagram contest. Here are the finalists from the second half of the #Bflies Instagram contest.  Which is your favorite? Photos are taken by Bethany McDonald (via email), @awildsphotography, @elleirajoy, @caseyh212, @awildsphotography, @abuelamarti, @cbgregory, @alexisdemetra, @yessyones, @awildsphotography, @coutrysparkplug, @sthreshley, @_ryan_gaffney, @bfreddy86, @leilagaskin, and @leilagaskin.

Because the contest runs for nearly six months, we couldn’t count the exact number of submissions, but its easily in the thousands. We promise we looked at them all! Amazingly, this year our favorite photo was a selfie. Ryan J. Smith aka @iamryanjsmith on Instagram, explained he loves taking pictures that entertain his young children.  This one was for them:

Man with owl butterfly eye as his "eye."

And the winner is……Ryan Smith aka @IamRyanJSmith on Instagram

“My family and I have used the Garden as a good break in our drive from Baltimore to South Carolina when visiting family down there. We love the beauty, charm, and spray park at Lewis Ginter Garden. It’s the perfect stop on a long hot trip. We’ve been there twice, but since we’re from Baltimore, we’re not members. My daughters absolutely love it there. We always joke about when our youngest, threw her “sookie” (pacifier) off the footbridge and either ducks or a turtle grabbed it. I think it was a turtle? We were able to rescue her sookie—and luckily no animals were harmed!”

What a great story. And, what a great guy.  Smith goes on to explain by email that since he’s so far away, he’d like to donate some of the local prizes including the Garden Family Membership to the Garden,  the Supernova Membership from the Science Museum of Virginia,  the 12 passes to come back to the Garden, the tickets to Richmond Symphony concert and the Richmond Region Tourism attractions pass to someone local.   We’ll be coordinating with our friends over at Ronald McDonald House to make sure that these go to someone who will really appreciate them.  Thank you to all of our partnering organizations who donated these prizes.

Smith also won a Ceivashare digital photo frame and accessories and a GoPro Hero Session, which will ship to him.

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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