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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Wednesday, 1 June 2011
A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to visit the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory.
Auntie Brooke & Ro
 As a symbol, I love the butterfly.
Outside, with lots of room, I love butterflies.
Pinned under glass, I like them, too.

But flitting about, by the hundreds in a fairly small, desperately humid rain forest setting?
Landing on me?
Not so much.

I have a fear of winged things~ bats especially. But bugs, too, going back to a terrifying evening as a child bombarded by June Bugs *shiver*. However, I am determined not to pass along my fears to my intrepid, insect loving child.  So I thought this would be a good idea.

And it was, really.
Rowan and I learned a lot (accompanied by my sister) about the butterflies and moths that inhabit our world.
Like that pesky difference between a cocoon and a chrysalis!
There were hands on stations for children to learn about the life cycle of the butterfly.
And a very cool 'hatching station' where the cocoons and chrysalis' of the various species were hung (and steamed) to hatch. We were able to witness this process in its various stages, including the emergence with crumpled wings of several butterflies.
I found it interesting that the conservatory purchases all its cocoons (and chrysalis'!).  In the butterfly area they have only three or four small bushes that butterflies (and only a couple of species) will use to lay their eggs.  In fact, the whole environment has been created *without* the plants that the butterflies and moths would use in the wild for laying their eggs!
The only leaves where eggs can be found
 So all of these critters are flying about, looking for the perfect place to lay their eggs (their sole drive) to no avail.  This is because the amount of foliage that the resulting caterpillars would eat would put the conservatory out of business~ they would not be able to keep up with the consumption rates!
After our stop at the educational tables, we continued on our journey along the paths.
By this point, I was getting a little jumpy.
The constant swooping of butterflies was wearing on my nerves~ there was an abundance of very large black and red and black and yellow ones!
While Rowan, dressed in flowers and  had been standing still in various bush shapes, hoping to attract one to land on her, I was the one who ended up with a hitchhiker.  I could feel every one of its little feet as they walked up my back (and I still shiver at the memory!).
Once my rider hopped off, I realized that my shoulders were more or less pinned to my ears and I was developing a permanent slouch. But I managed to keep smiling and encouraging Rowan to enjoy the experience.
After we had finished (and grown too hot!) in the conservatory, we took some time to enjoy the galleries.
These really are incredible creatures, from the Owl Butterflies with their remarkable owl eye wings, to the silk moths whose young spin such incredible fiber. Their diversity and spread across the globe is impressive!

I was less impressed with the living stick bugs and giant cockroaches in the gallery.
But I did find a display that made me very happy...
Not really... these critters have their place as much as I do.
But when Rowan wanted to go back in to their place to see them some more... I stayed behind.♥♥


Amanda said...

We've been to the Conservatory twice (it's a great place to take a croupy child - when they're not contagious of course) and Tyler LOVES the butterflies. I can't wait to go to Point Pelee this fall to watch the Monarch Migration.

Unknown said...

The Pelee event sounds AMAZING! And great idea about the croup LOL

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