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Monday, April 22, 2013

Butterflies and Blooms Exhibit Golden Gate Park May 8-Oct 20, 2013: What to do in San Francisco

Just a quick note that the Butterflies and Blooms exhibit is opening May 8 (running through Oct 20) at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. This exhibit transforms the Special Exhibits gallery into a lovely cottage garden aflutter with hundreds of butterflies on the wing. What's really nice is that this is a truly intimate space so the butterflies are all around you at eye level ... amazingly delightful.

Visitors can see a dazzling array of more than 20 species of colorful and familiar North American butterflies including magnificent monarchs (everyone's favorites), Western swallowtails, red admirals, and more, and even several giant moths like the impressive cecropia moth. 

The Butterfly Bungalow allows visitors to see the strange and beautiful chrysalises and cocoons as well -- perhaps even catching the moment of emergence which is really a cool thing to witness.

This is a great opportunity to get your children to think about the important role of pollinators. Such a timely story given recent news about a record low monarch population this year and the ongoing bee crisis.

Plus there are so many fun facts that people don't know about butterflies -- that they taste with their feet, that the caterpillars totally liquefy in the chrysalis before the cells rearrange into a butterfly, that the monarch migration is one of the great mysteries of the natural world. Lots of fun stories to tell.

I look forward to going in a few weeks when they open to get up close and personal.  As a photographer this is one of the things I have on my checklist of photos to have in my collection.

Keep this activity in mind for your out of town guests this summer - or for a family  fun day!

Visitors receive a free butterfly identification booklet, including tips on growing your own delightful butterfly garden plus insight into these wondrous, age-old symbiotic garden relationships. 

The exhibit is on view May 8-October 20, 2013. The Conservatory is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 AM - 4 PM. Visit www.conservatoryofflowers.org for ticket details.

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