Beautifully delicate with bright, fairy like wings, seeing the year’s first butterfly brings a smile to most people’s faces. We are immediately filled with the excitement and hope that, similarly to this vibrant creature, newly emerged from its dark cocoon, we too will imminently be throwing off our snug duvets, tossing aside our UGG boots and surfacing into the warm light of summer (bless our British optimism and wishful thinking...)
When I went to The Butterfly House at the Natural History Museum I was faced with 100’s of bright and beautiful tropical butterflies from all over the world, many species of which are currently under threat from climate and habitat change. I was all a'flutter (and a'fluster... Wow... Butterflies like it hot and humid...) and soon found myself standing statue still, arms stretched out, in the desperate hope of looking like the perfect butterfly landing strip… It was at this particular moment my boyfriend disappeared across the pavilion, making sure he did not also look deranged by mere association.
There are tables to see the butterflies feeding with their straw like mouths, a hatchery window for visitors to see pupae growing, eventually emerging into butterflies (this cycle can take up to 137 days so there’s no guarantee you will see anything more exciting than eggs and larvae) and best of all – the mirror on your way out (to check if you are harboring any mischievous escapees) unintentionally elongates and slims you beyond all recognition, leaving you feeling like Giselle… Now that IS wishful thinking!
The Butterfly House is open until 11th September 2011