Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory Outing Report

By John Reaume

On November 13, 2010 our club made our first outing (following in the footsteps of our Junior Naturalists) to the Wings of Paradise now known as the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory. Joining us were 11 souls including: Sharon Rogers, Grace Sorely, Irene Melanson, Gerard & Charlene McNaughton, Dave & Jean Schaus, Dorothy Kings, Ruth Monday and Luke and John Reaume.

We began our tour by listening to a presentation as part of the Butterflies and Blossoms Program. Here we learned about creating a butterfly garden and each participant received a packet of seeds to get us thinking about next spring. Luke amazed the group as the only one able to tell the sex of a Monarch butterfly – that Junior Naturalist training is paying off!

The presentation was followed by a lovely lunch and then a personal guided tour of the facility. We learned how to tell the difference between butterflies and moths (you need to look at their antennae) – a beautiful display of Sunset Moths would rival any butterfly in their colours! In addition they had captivating displays on “Atlas” the worlds largest Moth with a wingspan of 25-30 cm. Arrangements of Goliath Beetles, Longhorn Beetles, Rhinoceros Beetles, Scarab Beetles, Walking Stick, Leaf Insects and Owl Butterflies were but a few of the many dazzling displays.

The highlight of course was the Conservatory itself. Our guide showed us the chrysalis/cocoon chamber where new butterflies emerged daily and everyone had wonderful views of the myriad of butterflies. Memorable butterflies included the Blue Morpho, Common Mormon, Golden Birdwing, Rice Paper, Owl Butterfly, Rumanzovia Swallowtails, Small Postman, Velvet Rose and Zebra Longwings. There were also a number of birds to distract us such as the many Zebra Finches, Ground Dove as well as Common and Painted Quail.

Check out our gallery for photos of this recent adventure.

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