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Magic Among the Butterflies
“If you stand quietly, one of them might land on you.” So said “Butterfly Mike,” butterfly keeper for the Butterflies! exhibit at The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Not likely, I thought, with a couple dozen other noisy lookiloos lurking about.
Within a minute, however, every person there was captivated by the seductive flight of these tiny, winged creatures and their lush, tropical-garden surroundings. Even the teenagers pulled out their earphones.
The butterflies’ bright colors and intricate patterns provide a vivid contrast as they fly in the dense green foliage, stop at food stations or rest on the ceilings, walls and even the floor. (Everyone watches their step.)
The exhibit is home to between 60 and 150 butterflies, representing 20 to 40 different species, Mike explained. Many are born on-site, but the Academy also brings in butterflies weekly from all over the globe — Central and South America, East Africa and Southeast Asia.
A fellow photographer shared her results, encouragingly. While I focused on a blue-winged beauty among the plants, another butterfly landed softly on my shoulder. My eyes were suddenly as wide as those of the toddler who watched next to me. A shared moment of true magic.
Note: The Butterflies! exhibit is a $2 upgrade to your Philadelphia CityPASS — and well worth it.