August 28, 2012
One of our stops on our way through Canada earlier this month was Niagara Falls, we all wanted to see the big waterfall show and take the ferry underneath its mist which we did and it was awesome! Another stop we made was a place I’d read and heard about, the butterfly conservatory in the botanical gardens. I’m always up for a walk through some pretty gardens and if a butterfly habitat is included, well sign me up!
The butterfly conservatory was like walking through a story book or enchanted secret garden and so charming to have thousands of beautiful creatures fluttering so gracefully around you among tropical foliage and an indoor waterfall.
Did you know that most butterflies have very brief life spans? A few migrate, and a few others can live for many months, but most butterflies have only two to four weeks to live.
Some butterflies are migratory such as the famous Monarch which travels south from the Great Lakes in the winter and north from Mexico in the spring.
Did you know the vivid wings of butterflies are formed by layers teeny tiny scales that reflect light in different colors? As a butterfly ages, the scales fall off the wings.
Butterflies are cold blooded insects that cannot regulate their own body temperatures and need an ideal body temperature of about 85ºF to fly. If climate temperatures fall below 55ºF, butterflies are rendered immobile.
Some butterflies fold their wings to camouflage themselves into the background, others try the opposite strategy with vibrant color. Bright colored ones are toxic or simply mimicking their bad tasting cousins to repel predators.
Adult butterflies live on fluid nutrients gathered from flowering nectar producing plants and decaying fruits. Did you know butterflies taste food by standing on it? Their taste sensors are in their feet and a drinking straw like mouth sips up the meal once the feet find it!
And did you know if you’re eight years old and stand very still and patiently wait and wait inside a conservatory, you might just get very lucky and have a butterfly crawl right up on your finger and say hello.
It’s hard to imagine any place more charming than a butterfly conservatory.