Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Florida - Monday (Butterfly World)

On Monday, we went to Butterfly World north of Fort Lauderdale.  From the moment we walked in the doors, we could see hundreds of butterflies flying around.  They claim to have around 10,000 butterflies at any given time, with up to 50 different species.  It was amazing!  I wish I could describe the joyful feeling it gave me to stand in a beautiful garden and watch hundreds of colorful butterflies flying right in front of me.  Here are some of the different kinds of butterflies that we saw:

Ben spent a long time trying to get a good photo of a a blue morpho, but they rest with their wings closed, so it was a challenge.  While Ben was off taking photos of the butterflies, the girls and I slowed down to observe all the butterflies.  We bought a butterfly guide so Amelia could identify the different kinds of butterflies.  She was pretty good at it, although there were a lot of orange, black and white butterflies that were only subtly different.  They liked to find butterflies resting on the ground so that they could get a good up-close look.  The girls were very good about not touching the butterflies; they took this so seriously that Amelia would tell the butterflies not to land on her.  I had a butterfly land on me, which was exciting, but I couldn't pull my camera out fast enough to get a photo.  We spent at least a half hour in this place, and towards the end, Amelia started to get a little freaked out that a butterfly would land on her, so we had to leave.

After we left the butterfly exhibit, we went through a tropical plant maze to get to an outdoor (but enclosed) bird exhibit.  Amelia liked running through the maze so much that we had to do it three times.  She wasn't as excited about looking at the birds until I made it into a game.  Once I said "I bet I can find a bird before you!" then she was interested.  Our favorite was the bright blue bird, but we also liked the hummingbirds.

They had a suspension bridge over their pond, and Amelia thought it was great fun to run and jump on the bridge so that it would bounce and sway.  Megan was very confused about why the surface was so unsteady, and she needed to hold onto my hand.  I think Amelia ran across the bridge 4 or 5 times.

They also had a huge indoor display of mounted butterflies (which we skipped) and a room full of spiders in cages (and a few large un-caged orb spiders in the corners of the room - creepy!)  Megan, as you might expect, liked to look at the big spiders and other bugs.  Then we went to feed the lorikeets.  Neither girl would hold the cup of food, so I had to hold it and have the lorikeets land on me.  Their little feet tickled my hand!  Both girls wanted to pet them, but that didn't really work out well because then the lorikeets wanted to nip at their fingers. 

It was so fun that then Ben wanted to have a turn.  One lorikeet climbed all the way up his arm to his shoulder!

After leaving Butterfly World, we went to the playground right next door.  Amelia said the playground was her favorite part of the day.  Ben and I thought it was nice that the playground had a sunshade over it.  Megan loved climbing up ladders at this playground - she is getting really good at it, and is very adventurous.  Both girls love going down slides together.

Look, Amelia has freckles!

That evening, we went back to the beach to play in the sand.  We built a big sand castle using our buckets to pack the sand.  Megan mostly liked to destroy the towers.  :)  We also collected walked along the beach and looked for shells.  The girls were so excited to find shells, and no matter what the shells looked like, the girls thought they were beautiful.  We used them to decorate our sand castle.

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