Sep 10th, 2013

Butterfly Curators: Our Favorite Things from Butterflies LIVE!

Ever wonder what it would be like to work in the Butterflies LIVE! exhibit in the Conservatory at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.  I think it would be a dream job, greeting and educating visitors, opening boxes of butterflies, monitoring the progress of butterflies emerging from their chrysalises in the Emergence Room, and releasing butterflies for their very first flights! As Butterflies LIVE! is coming to a close next month (the exhibit closes on October 13), we asked a few of our butterfly curators, who’ve been working in the exhibit since it opened in May, to share a few of their favorite things.  We hope you enjoy hearing from them.
“Having a quiet moment to look at a butterfly and enjoy the iridescent beauty of its wings shining in the sun.” ~Lead Butterfly Curator, Caroline Meehan

Common Morpho  (Morpho peleides)

This Common Morpho (Morpho peleides) ) is certainly putting on a beautiful, shimmery display.

“My favorite part of Butterflies LIVE! is the daily release of brand new butterflies. It is such a unique experience to watch these lovely winged creatures fly for the very first time!” ~Jane Cramer, Assistant Butterfly Curator.
Don’t forget – we have butterfly releases at 10 a.m. each day, and at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Jane Cramer, Assistant Butterfly Curator, and visitors during a butterfly release.

Here is Jane Cramer, Assistant Butterfly curator, releasing butterflies into the North Wing as visitors look on.

“I enjoy when we have the display cages and people notice them. It is a great opportunity to talk a little more about the life cycle or how moths and butterflies differ. They tend to lead to more questions, which is exciting.” ~Kendra Norrell, Assistant Butterfly Curator.  Here is an Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas) that we had in a display cage earlier this summer. Can you see the snake heads on its wings?

Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas)

Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas)

“I enjoy watching the butterflies fly. Some soar gently through the air, some chase each other, and some can fly from one side of the exhibit to the other within a few seconds! They also fly from flower to flower, drinking nectar. They are all so different, and it’s fun to watch.” ~Annie Raup, Assistant Butterfly Curator

Queen (Danaus gilippus), a cousin of the Monarch, stopping to drink nectar from a Lantana flower

A Queen butterfly (Danaus gilippus), a cousin of the Monarch, stopping to drink nectar from a lantana flower.

What is your favorite part of Butterflies LIVE!?

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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