If you have lived in Albuquerque - with kids - for very long, you are probably very familiar with the Biopark, which includes the zoo, Tingley Beach, the Aquarium, and the Botanic Gardens. Our family has spent countless hours at all of those places.
Yesterday we had a wonderful surprise when we went to the butterfly pavilion at the Botanic Gardens. They have added 16 new species of butterflies this season, and they are amazing! They have all the old sorts of butterflies, which we have always loved, and now they have a bunch more too. As soon as we walked through the door, we were nearly mobbed by butterflies - my kids kept saying "Mom, they are so friendly! They have never been friendly like this before!" :) They landed in our hair, on our shoulders, and on my camera lens. * Note - you should never touch butterflies, but if they decide to land on YOU, that is okay, just don't touch them with your fingers. *
We especially love it when we can see their proboscis.
These big butterflies with the owl markings are new - I'm not going to embarrass myself trying to remember which kind this one was, because there were something like 4 different kinds that look like this on the outside. :) But they are big and really interesting.
This big butterfly is a blue morpho, from Costa Rica (years ago when my husband and I went there, we remember seeing the blue morpho in the jungle). Its outside markings are brown and owl-like, so my son was slowly approaching it in hopes that it would spread its wings to fly away, and I could see the gorgeous blue inside.
But just then my daughter said "Mom. MOM. Take a picture of THIS!" A butterfly had landed on her hand and was "licking" it. (While I took this picture, the blue morpho flew away, and just never settled for another try, though we did chase it around for 5 more minutes.)
They have also added a dragonfly pond, just next to the butterfly pavilion, and it was beautiful! There were hundreds of dragonflies swooping over the plants and water.
So if you haven't been to the Botanic Gardens lately, it's worth taking a trip before the butterfly pavilion closes after Labor Day. There is more information on the city's website here: