Some of you may remember me mentioning that we planned to go to Butterfly World when we visited Florida (in that post about how crazy Bracken is about insects.) Besides going to the mermaid show, going to Butterfly World was the other place that Bracken was most excited about seeing in Florida as we talked about our plans for our trip. He also thought his great grandma would enjoy it because we read that they had hummingbirds there and she loves hummingbirds. It ended up being only 30 miles from where my Mom lives.
Here’s what a few of the handouts said: Butterfly World is the first park of it’s kind in the Western Hemisphere and the largest butterfly and bird park in the world. The six aviaries are filled with twenty thousand live butterflies and free-flying birds. I also read that their gardens are home to one of the largest collections of flowering plants, trees, and vines in the world. “Many years of research, combined with careful planning and control have created the right conditions for thousands of butterflies to fly, court, feed, and bask in the sunlight, as you walk among them, and enter their world! Because most of these butterflies are bred at Butterfly World you will also be able to witness their entire life cycle and marvel at unusual caterpillars and pupae.
Plants are essential for the survival of butterflies. Our expert horticultural department propogates thousands of specialized plants to feed caterpillars and countless flowering specimens to provide nectar for adult butterflies.”
My Mom and Grandma teased me about how many pictures I took while we were there. And they were right, I took so many pictures it got to be pretty comical, but I told them if I took lots then I would get some real treasures. I decided to share two posts about Butterfly World, this first one with pictures of the butterflies (and some insects) and another post with the pictures of birds and the flora and fauna. (Because I did have too many pictures for a single post.)
It was amazing to first enter the aviary and see butterflies in all colors flying all around you. Bracken put his finger next to some butterflies to see if they would crawl on him and a few landed on him while he was walking around. (He also protected butterflies he saw on the ground when they were in the middle of the walkway so no one would step on them.) When we left the area with the butterflies, there was a full length mirror to look into to make sure there were no butterflies on you. There were so many beautiful butterflies on display in the insect museum, but the three ladies agreed that our least favorite part was the insect zoo because it was filled with tarantulas, black widow spiders, cockroaches, and all sorts of things that made our skin crawl.
Bracken’s favorite butterfly experience was at the end when we were walking by the garden center. He saw a monarch butterfly and put his finger out a few inches from it. I watched in amazement as the butterfly walked right over to him and walked on his finger. Then it preceded to walk up his shirt before it flew away. He was so happy about that. We’ve been hearing about other butterfly destinations and we have even more butterfly adventures planned in our future!