Butterflies are Blooming:
Butterflies, Butterflies, Everywhere!
by Lori Ramsey
One of the most popular events and exhibits in Michigan are at the Meijer Gardens for their Butterflies Are Blooming exhibit, held each spring. This exhibit goes from March 1 through April 30.
Visitors are mesmerized by the over six thousand tropical butterflies, which fly all over the fifteen thousand square foot, five-story high Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory. The faraway places of Africa, Central American, and the Far East share over forty species of butterflies right here in Meijer Gardens. These butterflies arrive as chrysalises, and reside in the Bungalow while visitors look on as they transform before their very eyes into beautiful butterflies. Many find this a fascinating process.
This is an excellent spot for a field trip. This is learning science and metamorphosis at its best. Schools, homeschoolers, and families can share in this thrilling butterfly experience in the spring. Come as a family or bring a group, all are welcome.
The Butterflies are Blooming is in their 17th year. Can you imagine the wonder of watching thousands of butterflies flying around the five stories high Tropical Conservatory, at a constant 80 degrees? Even if the weather outside is nasty, you can enjoy the feel of the great outdoors tropical style in this atmosphere controlled environment. Watch a shower of color explosion, as the butterflies and moths flit around, sharing their beauty with all who visit. Flowering plants grace the conservatory offering nectar for the butterflies to eat. You can watch butterflies go from flower to flower collecting the nectar, cross-pollinating the plants.
Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Butterflies are Blooming exhibition is a favorite for those on spring break. Because it occurs from March 1 through April 30, it happens to hit all spring breaks and Easter breaks with the public and private schools and the universities and colleges as well as homeschoolers. Included is also beautiful sculptures from famous artists Alexander Liberman, Auguste Rodin, Alexander Calder, and Michele Oka Doner, plus others. Many horticulturists help to maintain the greenery, flowers, and butterflies. The Conservatory offers a place for teachers and horticulturists to research and learn. Students of horticulturists are also invited to behold the vast area of study offered by this huge Conservatory. Over 200 volunteers maintain the gardens, as you can imagine the amount of work involved in taking care of this fifteen thousand square foot complex, with all the plants, butterflies and moths. More than 150,000 visitors will visit the exhibit this year.
See the beautiful blue winged Blue Morpho, whose wings almost look metallic, or the Longwings with their beautiful patterns and colors. Look at a moth with the wingspan of almost one foot, the Atlas Moth. You can also see Leopard Lacewings, Black Swordtails and Tree Nymphs, in addition, the precious Monarch Butterflies, always a favorite. All you have to do is hold out your hand and these beauties will flutter right to you and light on fingers, nose, arms, shoulders, or head.
Children are delighted to visit to learn how butterflies grow from chrysalises into the beautiful fluttering creatures. In addition to the joy of just observing and interacting with butterflies and moths, the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden holds special activities just for children. This is a way to have good clean family fun while learning about nature.