As opposed to the first week, when the bitter cold outdoors made it difficult to keep the humidity in the Conservatory high enough, there were lots of new butterflies emerging, perhaps a dozen just in the two hours I was there.
That doesn’t mean the cold has passed. Far from it as you can see above, with snow surrounding the red bridge that leads to the exhibit. (Dow Gardens also has a fully barrier-free streamside path that leads to Butterflies in Bloom, but I alternate routes.)
Sometimes even when butterflies are quite strong, they don’t go far after being released from the emergence case. This one decided that chilling on the case’s back door was just fine.
We had several blue morphos emerge, which made me happy because they are a visitor favorite. They are our largest butterfly; one is pictured above on a delicacy, rotting kiwi. When it opens its wings, the “top” sides are a beautiful blue.
Some species take longer than others to be dry and strong. Swallowtails, like the one above on the Nordic pine in the nursery area, sometimes shake as if they are chilly. Monarchs are notorious for crashing and needing quick rescue, and the blue morphos are so large that they make take half a day before they are ready for release, while some small species are vigorously flying about inside the case in two hours or less.
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