Pollen Paradise

Gloria Rice’s garden is a haven for hungry insects.

Gloria Rice’s garden attracts and delights bees, birds, butterflies and, on one balmy midsummer day last year, a hungry hummingbird clearwing moth eager to feast on the nectar of the swamp milkweeds in Rice’s garden.

“I knew it wasn’t a bird. I Googled it and figured out what it was. They’re not very shy, either. You can get up pretty close to them,” Rice says.

Rice approached the tiny creature with her Canon Rebel T2I and snapped this shot. An avid gardener and photographer, she’s no stranger to capturing the activities of the many visitors to her garden.

Rice first started taking photos about 30 years ago.

“I’m kind of a visual person. I like visual beauty and I’ve always liked nature. When I first started out, I must have seen some photos that I was impressed with and said I can do that. I’m a competitive person like that,” Rice confesses.

Indeed, she has entered different scenes from her home’s wild garden into Capture Minnesota, an online photo contest website run by Twin Cities Public Television. Last year, Rice’s photo “Sunflower Center” made it intwo the Nature in Minnesota volume of Capture Minnesota’s hardcover publication.

Rice has been a Plymouth resident for nearly 18 years and in the meantime, her garden has grown wild and wonderfully, she’s grown close to her neighbors and she’s been able to explore her love for the untamed, visual beauty of nature.

“I like that fact that in my neighborhood, the yards are big and the people are wonderful. Nobody cares what you plant and people smile and wave,” she says.

Learn more about the 2015 Picture Plymouth photo contest here. Photos can be submitted beginning July 31.