Monday, March 29, 2010

Butterfly Bonanza

Horticulture volunteer Allan Parris captured some great images inside the Tennessee Aquarium's Butterfly Garden. With hundreds of colorful butterflies flying inside the exhibit, occasionally one will stop to land on a visitor. It's almost as if they are saying, "Nice to meet you." According to Dave Collins, the Aquarium's curator of forests, this is part of the fun of a relaxing, slow-paced visit. "If you move quietly, a butterfly or two might land on you," said Collins. "But we would ask visitors not to touch the wings of the butterflies."
Entomologist Jennifer Taylor releases butterflies into the garden twice daily. "Sometimes I'll gently place a butterfly or two onto a visitor during releases," said Taylor. "But we prefer that guests refrain from catching or grabbing the butterflies on their own. Their legs and wings are very delicate." So enjoy a friendly visit if one lands on you, but don't grab them off of food sources or restrain them in any way. And make sure you don't have a hitch-hiker on your back before you exit the garden area.

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