Friday, March 21, 2008

Field Trip To Grand Rapids- Part 1

The kids and I had a fabulous day in Grand Rapids.
Our first stop was Meijer Gardens to see the butterflies. They are currently featuring Foremost's Butterflies Are Blooming. With over 40 species of butterflies, totally more than 6,000. In an open 15,000ft conservatory, the butterflies flit around you as you walk through beautiful landscaping and see them in action. It is an awesome sight. With guide in hand we excitedly identified the different ones we saw. My favorite was the Common Morpho, a brilliant blue butterfly, rather large in size. It mostly flew around, rarely stopping for a sip of nectar. When it did stop I noticed it was a rather boring brown on the outside. Great camouflage!
Here are a few shots I got along the way...
As the guide did not have every specie in it we did not get a confirmed ID on this fellow. We believe he is in the Postman family.

This beauty is an Asian Atlas Moth. It was HUGE. Easily an 8inch wingspan.

These two are a type of Swallowtail

Inside there was also an arid room and a room of carnivorous plants.
Check out this Tropical Pitcher Plant.

While I had never been to the Garden's, this trip will definitely not be my last. The grounds are gorgeous with sculptures lining the pathways. After our visit to the conservatory we bundled up and went outside to the Children's Garden area. I want to go back and see it in all its Summer glory. The kids enjoyed playing in the tree house and checking out the log cabin. We walked only a small fraction of the various outdoor garden areas. So when we return we will have much to explore.

While in the Children's area we warmed up in the information area while playing dress-up and doing some arts & crafts. Little girl was adorable as she tried on the various butterfly wings. And the craft they made turned out great as well. An old fashioned clothespin with tissue paper for wings, pipe cleaner for the antenna and legs.

While leaving the building the kids stopped to smell the many flowers that lined the wall in the main hallway. Smelled like Spring. Smelled so sweet.

Stay tuned for Part 2

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