Saturday, April 6, 2013

Day 6.086: Butter flies like a banana

We're home. We had an uneventful drive back from Montreal through the late afternoon and evening. But first, we had some more visiting to do.

Today's destination was the Botanical Gardens. They are hardly at their best right now, but the highlight is a series of greenhouses that were in excellent condition including one which currently houses a huge collection of live and uncaged butterflies. We were lucky to coincide with this - and it was definitely worth the wait to get in.

Here are some pictures - some butterflies, but also E5N1 experiencing the life cycle of a monarch butterfly - egg, caterpillar and chrysalis - and my hand alongside a moth, perhaps it's just as well that these giants were not flying around, but quietly sleeping!

Talking of monarchs, yesterday, at the Science Center we watched an IMAX movie - they have a real giant-screen IMAX setup like the ones that I first encountered in the 80's, not the pale imitation that movie theaters use.  The 3D film is called L'Incroyable voyage des papillons or in the English-language version we saw (the only English-language showing of any film during the middle of the day) rather more prosaically: Flight of the Butterflies.  Of course, living here, we knew all about the monarchs and their long migration flights - or so we thought.

It turns out there was masses we did not know.  The film tells the parallel stories of a butterfly, her daughter and her granddaughter in the three-generation, year-long migration and of the man who made his life-work to  understand the migration, discovering - in the early 1970's that they congregate in the winter in huge colonies - huddling together on wooded mountain tops in Mexico where they look like this (an exhibit from the Insectarium at the Botanical Gardens today):

Amazing stuff!

Oh, yes and apologies for the kerning error above, here's the evidence:

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