Rhopalocera Respect aka A Day Trip to the Butterfly Pavilion
It is so funny how I am such a creature of habit! So much so that now that I am a momma I am seeing patterns in my calendar year to year. This past Tuesday after swimming lessons, the girls and I made a bee line, pun intended (sort of), to the Butterfly Pavilion up north in Westminster. It has been about a year, we're talking within a couple weeks, since we visited last! The girls and I recently read Fancy Nancy Bonjour Butterfly and that sparked me to think of the invertebrate zoo in our back yard, the Butterfly Pavilion Westminster!
After swimming lessons, we had a snack beside the pool after drying off, as we do on a typical day, but we decided to run home and do a quick shower and grab some peanut butter sandwiches to go. I had to get gas and coffee, coffee is my gas and yes very necessary, and by the time we made it up there it was after 1 pm. Actually, it worked out WELL that way! The school kids were all eating outside when we got there, and the place cleared out for lunch/naps. We could actually walk and move and linger in there unlike the last time we visited. Highly recommend going during a lunch time.
The girls were sleepy, but Arlo showed much enthusiasm and excitedly shouted and pointed out everything she found. Remy was exploring and investigating, so independently and in earnest, that she was pretty much leading us along. They were down on the ground, peering through plants and trying to get a better view by propping themselves up on any railing they could sneak onto. I will admit that Remy raced through and was ready to find the spiders ratehr quickly whereas I wanted to take a bit more time and really soak up the butterflies.
We took a break and popped in a room where the girls were able to dig around in some dirt for earthworms, they both had fun with that. They kicked off their shoes and ran around in this area which was great for them! There was a slide and a little play area which worked out perfectly for them. There was also some information on beetles and bees and other invertebrates. I am not super into bugs, but I can appreciate the beauty and uniqueness in them. I would like to delve into their purposes in the eco-system more. What's great about having kids is you get another opportunity later in life to really process and learn right along with them about things you may have been introduced to at their age and have forgotten. Parenting is like a FREE, well that's debatable, intense, specialized training course with mini sessions in certain areas, those being whatever museums and excursions you get exposed to a second time around.
We popped back into the butterfly pavilion, upon my encouragement and suggestion to see them once more, and REALLY take advantage of the entrance fee we paid, $8 for each kiddo and $12 for myself!!! That was a nice loop around to finish. The girls loved the map and both took turns "guiding us" through.
We ended int he butterfly pavilion on the north side where this great light comes in and there's a bench. We had learned from one of the specialists in the other room minutes before that the life span of a butterfly is about two weeks, We found some "goners," as i referred to them. Those photos of Arlo looking at the butterfly on the bench, sadly I think that one was dunzo. It didn't move even after Arlo and Remy plopped down on the bench almost on top of it. We found another on the ground. I explained to the girls that we had learned that they only live for about two weeks and their life cycle is complete. Over. Remy looked up at me after staring at a fallen brown guy, "Is two weeks today momma?" Haha!
I know I am too short with them, and uptight and frustrated and a HUGE stress ball a LOT more than I would like to even think about, but I really do make an effort to answer their inquiries with thoughtful responses. I really do try to answer. Every. Question. If I snap to look out the window and request silence for a minute, I always feel incredibly guilty, I turn the dial down and I go back and ask them to rephrase their question and I try to give them the respect of listening and conversing back. I always used to think that it would be much more pressure inducing than it actually is. The answers I give may not always be the RIGHT answer, as in the technical or scientific one, but it is one from my knowledge base gathered from bits and pieces of life I have absorbed, to the best of my abilities. So while I may not know the exact PURPOSE of a butterfly and why it only lives for two weeks, I do know, and believe, that God created it as such for a reason, and that it must be importantly so. We explain that their life is precious and beautiful while they exist, and to respect them by not poking at their wings or trying to chase or capture them because they are working and we do not want to hurt them or disturb their environment. It is lessons and adventures, excursions like this that open up dialogue like that. Continuing conversations, building on things we discuss and above all creating a safety in that they can come to me and ask me ANYTHING, ANYTIME, is something I am trying to remember when raising these two.
Here are WAY too many photos to even count, but these are the days. And they are short. Not two weeks short, but it could feel like that. So why not take all the pictures? Take all the pictures!
We are so incredibly excited for spring, and crouching down at every blade of grass poking out of wood chips and out from side walk cracks. Spring is so many things for me. My belief in Christ, Easter. My birthday, my anniversary, so many things to replenish my spirit and THIS always feels more like the beginning of a fresh year to me, more so than January.
Thanks for popping by this space everyone! Have a wonderful weekend!