Week 3 of Butterflies in Bloom service began a little warmer, although someone thought the Sisters sculpture needed scarves.
I haven’t seen any chipmunks or deer, but a squirrel was eyeing me closely.
Inside the Conservatory, the volunteer going off shift told me that two visitors were waiting for a blue morpho to emerge … and waiting … and waiting. After I had been there half an hour, the woman wanted to leave but she was afraid it would come out as soon as they turned away.
I told her that at this point, the poor thing was stuck and would not be emerging any further. If a chrysalis falls from a shelf with a butterfly partially emerged, I’ll retrieve it, scrape the chrysalis away and hang the butterfly in our handy “hospital tree,” a Norfolk pine behind the emergence case. The undersides of the shelves, though, are so full and busy that I won’t interfere there.
Speaking of the Norfolk pine, it got a lot of new residents while I was there. How many can you spot?
Here’s one of them, a monarch. I call them “beautiful and stupid” because they are notorious for crashing and needing rescue.
The Conservatory, by the way, is full of fabulous tropical plants. I wish they were labeled like the ones in the rest of Dow Gardens and plan to ask why they aren’t. I’d be happy to help tag.
So far the butterflies have been relatively unmolested in the food dishes. I’ve had a few children try to coax them onto fingers while they were feeding on flowers, and I point out that just like you don’t bother dogs when they’re eating, you should let the butterflies finish their meals.
I also saw signs of mating behavior for the first time this week. The scarlet Mormon above was in the tree for a reason and needed more recovery time, so I was annoyed when another butterfly came around with other things on its tiny little mind. But their lives are short, so hey. There also was a pair of Julias mating, with another butterfly on deck, so to speak; we do see trios close together sometimes.