What a crazy day! The coronavirus mess is nuts. They shut down the entire Women's Expo at 1:30 today. There were very few people in attendance, but over the 250 prescribed by the governmentally imposed shutdowns. With over 300 vendors trying to leave all at once (many of them angry), it took over 2 hours for me to get out of there.
Meanwhile, I had told my friend Robert that I had plans for the evening (I was going to another author's house), but when they cancelled the whole Expo I called him back. It sure is nice to have a friend with a membership at Meijer Gardens! Their famous butterfly exhibit is in full swing. So we have to interrupt the flower show for a flying flower show.
There are 27 species of tropical butterflies loose in the conservatory. We went, of course. I'm pretty sure I saw 14 of them. Getting pictures is another matter! Here's what I did catch in fairly good focus.
There are several species with the common name "Postman." This one is Heliconius melpomene aglaope
The chrysalises are shipped in and kept in a sort of incubator room. Yes, they have been sorted by species. The caterpillars don't arrange themselves so neatly!
This is a Hewitsoni Longwing, Heliconius hewitsoni.
My favorite was the very large Common Morpho, Morpho peleides. Common in Mexico and South America! Almost every time one landed it closed it's wings, and the blue was gone. But this one landed on my back! Robert got a picture. It's getting old- you can see how ragged the wings are.
When they land and close up, they are brown to dark brown with spots on the underwing. This picture also shows one of the ways they were being fed, with trays of fruit placed around the conservatory.
This is the Golden Helicon, Heliconius hecale. Their chrysalises are a metallic gold- which seems very unusual for a biologic color.
Another Postman, a different sub-species.
I'm showing you this even though the picture is crummy. The butterfly is open and flat on the plant. It's a Zebra Mosaic, Colobura dirce, also from Central and South America. Sort of creamy with black stripes.
Finally, the best picture, the Tree Nymph, Idea leuconoe. This one is from Southeast Asia.
After that, we went to Reed's Lake, had sandwiches at a popular restaurant, and walked part way around the lake. Then I drove home.
So, the day was not as planned, and I lost a ton of money (as did everyone), but the ending was pretty nice.
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