Thursday, February 26, 2009

Butterflies in Winter!

Every year the MOntreal Botanical Garden (Jardin Botanique de Montreal) hosts a Butterfly exhibit in its Greenhouses from mid February to the end of April. This years exhibit "Butterflies Go Free" celebrates butterflies and moths of the Americas and have even more than before. They are also showcasing butterflies and moths from Quebec, which takes some skill because in nature they'd be hibernating under the snow waiting for spring about this time of year.
Where do these butterflies come from...they come from fair-trade butterfly farms in the tropics. The idea started in Costa Rica where the idea of creating a "nursery" near a tropical forest for eggs naturally provided by butterflies and moths. The idea has spread throughout world and in many areas instead of cutting down or burning the tropical forest they maintain it for a butterfly farm bringing in revenue to the community.
So next time you see a Butterfly exhibit like this one (I know they have one at the Natural HIstory museum in New York) be sure to take the time to visit. While you enjoy the warmth and beauty of a greenhouse filled with colorful butterflies in the midst of winter you will also be doing good with your dollars!
I took a gazillion (well not quite...but many) photos of the butterflies we saw...they are on my flickr Here are a couple of the beauties we saw.

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