As part of my birthday-week celebration (60 on Saturday!!!), Tom took me to the Butterflies are Blooming exhibit at the Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids the other day.
The exhibit is the largest temporary, tropical butterfly exhibit in the country -- and it comes every spring to Meijer Gardens. Watching these exotic butterflies flutter all around you . . . in a truly beautiful tropical conservatory . . . is just magical!
But first, there was a Monarch butterfly exhibit. As you know, I'm a huge fan of the Monarch, so I loved finding all the caterpillars munching away on various milkweed plants, and seeing the caterpillars actively forming their chrysalis. This one was close to emerging. (You can see the distinct Monarch colors/pattern through the chyrsalis.)
Here are three cool things about the tropical butterfly exhibit:
1 - Feeding stations.
The butterflies were just flocking around various feeding stations set up throughout the exhibit. The butterflies in this photo are Postman and Pink Cattleheart, all from Central and South America. (We were there in the morning, and these are all "morning" butterflies -- they like the bright morning sunlight.)
2 -- Beautiful butterflies we don't see locally.
This blue butterfly is the Common Morpho (also from Central and South America), and I'll tell you . . . it didn't seem "common" at all! It's big -- much bigger than a Monarch; kind of . . . bat sized. It was just amazing to see them floating around. The blue was much more brilliant and iridescent that my photo shows.
3 -- Hatching station.
The exhibit featured a hatching station where we could see all the types of chrysalis for the butterflies included in the exhibit. It was fascinating to watch the butterflies in various stages of "hatching." I loved watching them emerge.
It was a fabulous way to spend a morning!
Be sure to visit Carole today for more Three on Thursday posts.