Desert Botanical Garden Butterflies

Maxine & Jonathan Marshall Butterfly Pavilion

2014 was the 13th year for the Spring Butterfly Exhibit at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona, and every year it seems to become more popular. There is also a Fall exhibit just for Monarchs. The really great thing about the exhibit is that it is outdoors which makes it a much better venue for photography. The downside, however, is the Phoenix summer means it's closed during that time. Too hot for visitors, too hot for the butterflies!

The Butterflies

If you've never been in a butterfly exhibit like the Marshall Butterfly Pavilion, you've probably never seen so many on one small space. Because they're in a confined space with lots of people walking by, they're also quite tame so approaching them is no problem at all and they seem to ignore the visitors for the most part.
 
Easter Tiger Swallowtail
Gulf Fritillary
Julia
Common Buckeye
Gulf Fritillary
Spicebush Swallowtail
Julia and Gulf Fritillary
Zebra Longwing
Julia
Spicebush Swallowtail
Zebra Swallowtail
Julia
Gulf Fritillary
Julia
Luna Moth
Promethea Moth
Cecropia Moth
Drawing the Cecropia seen at the left
Final Drawing of Cecropia
Gulf Fritillary
Julia
White Peacock
Zebra Longwing
Julia

The Exhibit

The exhibit itself is basically a large tent with screens to let sunlight in. There are two "air locks" on either end for the entrance and exit so that the butterflies do not escape. Only so many spectators are allowed in at a time so there might be a small wait to enter. Unless you're already a member of the DBG, entrance requires a special ticket (currently $3.50) which is purchased at the time you enter the grounds.  Though I used to be very much in favor of having a year round facility, with cost of admission being so high this would make the exhibit out of reach for too many visitors. And the near "open air" approach of this straightforward tent is simply wonderful.
 
 

The Kids

When it comes to kids and the exhibit, they generally come in two flavors: those that love it and are overjoyed when a butterfly lands on them and those that treat the flying butterflies like they were bees.
 

The Kids & Their Cameras

And thanks to the age of digital photography, the kids take pictures!
 
As you see, they can come pretty young!
And a little older ...
 
And the kids can be pretty big, too!
 

* Butterflies with an asterisk following the name were taken at the Desert Botanical Garden butterfly exhibit.



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