I have a two-year-old grandson who is fascinated with trains (Thomas the Train and all his friends are huge toy favorites), so it seemed appropriate that while my daughter and her children were in town for the holidays, we visit the conservatory and let Maddox get a look at the decorations and train. Of course, my older grandchildren (and Maddox's younger sister, who is 10 months old), got a kick out of it all as well.
On about six days during the almost full-month observance, which the park calls Conservatory Crossing, the conservatory stays open until 8 p.m. (usually it closes at 5 p.m.). A few years back, I remember it referring to the late-hours days as Candlelight Crossing ... or perhaps it referred to just one of those nights, when the conservatory would have cookies and punch available to visitors. At some point thereafter, however, "Candlelight" was dropped from the name. It now goes just by Conservatory Crossing.
In any event, we chose to go Wednesday, one of the late-hours dates, in order to get the full spectacle of the lights and decor.
Maddox was pleased ... and predictably entranced, especially, by the train and its landscaping. I took pictures, and while walking through the tropical plant section, noticed several interesting compositions enhanced by strategic fall of light on various leaves and, in some cases, full plants. Some of those shots are included here.
In a rarity for this blog, I'm not going to bother to compose captions for the individual pictures that appear below. I've pretty much described what this attraction entails in the text above, and there's little to add. Just enjoy the images.
As always, click on any photo to bring up a larger, sharper version. To see a full gallery of shots from the shoot, visit my site at SmugMug.com.
Photo geek stuff: I took all of the photos here with my Canon 6D equipped with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L lens using shutter priority (1/160) and varying my ISO settings to adapt to differing light availability.