Heidi visits the Butterfly House in Chesterfield

5:42 AM, May 2, 2013   |    comments
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Regardless of the forecast, it's always beautiful at the butterfly house.

"We have roughly from about 15 to 1,800 butterflies on any given day," explains Laura Chisholm, Living Collections Manager.

But considering the average life span of a butterfly is only three to four weeks as an adult, she's busy moving new butterflies in daily.

"We actually just pinch them up here," Chisholm demonstrates.

"We will release anywhere from 100 to 150 a day," she goes on to say.

She and her staff will actually release more than 100 new butterflies three or four times a day.

"Here they come," Chisholm says unzipping the net.

Sadly she's also moving dead butterflies out.

"We clean up anywhere from 50 to 100 every single day," Chisholm points out.

They're not pitched, but preserved if they're still in one piece.

"If they're in good enough shape then we will save them and use them in our classroom program," she explains.

Because behind not one, but two secure doors, where typically only staff is allowed things are more creepy and crawly than colorful.

"We do a conservation project with our megasoma, these guys came from Costa Rica," Chisholm says.

Even those bright, beautiful butterflies begin more drab and dull.

"So when they come in they're coming in like this, this is the insect itself. This is the stage between the caterpillar and the butterfly. In any given week we get about 1500 in a chrysalis stage." Chisholm points out.

They'll hang around depending on the species from five days to two weeks after every single one of them has been given the once over.

"We check them to see if they're happy and healthy and everything like that," Chisholm adds.

Eventually they emerge as wonderful winged creatures, critters that remind us that beauty is everywhere.











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