Sunday, June 29, 2014

49 but who's counting...

Celebrated the big "49" in a unique way. Rheid took the day off to accompany me to the birthday destination of my choice. I chose the zoo. So just before heading off, I went online to the Denver Zoo site to see if there were any special programs or discounts for the day. To my dismay there was nothing exciting going on that day because it was CLOSED. What??!! The zoo unavailable on the best day of the summer--unthinkable! I was so disappointed since I'd looked forward to it all week. Time to think of a Plan B.

Well B in this case turned out to be for butterfly. I had heard of the Butterfly Pavilion before but really didn't know what it was all about or what to expect. I checked its website and saw they charged only $1.00 admission if it is your birthday. SCORE! I took that as a sign so off we went to Westminster, a suburb of Denver, instead.

Turns out besides butterflies, they house lots of different invertebrate creatures (animals without backbones) which make up 97% of all animal species on the planet. Who knew? We saw giant millipedes, scorpions, huge cockroaches,walking sticks, jellyfish, starfish, horseshoe crabs, sea anemones, etc. But the biggest non-butterfly hit housed in the "Crawl-a-See-Em"  was Rosie the tarantula.
Earning my "I Held Rosie" sticker which I wore with pride!

Rosie felt amazingly light and soft.
First time ever holding a tarantula.

Told Rheid he had to try this too.
Then it was on to the main attraction, the butterflies. They were housed in a large rain forest-type pavilion (interpretation: hot and humid) which was full of all kinds of flowering plants. Gorgeous. Oh and the butterflies! They are flying all around you. At any one time, there are about 1,600 butterflies of various species living there. 

A variety of swallowtail.

This one isn't specifically identified in the brochure but he was willing
to hold still so I liked him a lot!
It was so amazing and they were all so beautiful I wanted to capture them all digitally. Unfortunately, being a bad shaker combined with technical difficulties trying to work my phone (wish I had taken my camera instead) and the constant moving of the butterflies, not many of my photos turned out well. There were also large window displays of the "nursery" which featured many kinds of chrysalis's waiting to hatch. My favorite looked like they had been dipped in solid gold, which is supposed to scream "bitter" to any potential ingest-er.

There were butterflies large and small with lots of different colors and markings.  My favorite were the large blues, owls, and the Paper Kites. The Paper Kites were a very large white and black species that has a slow, gentle flight behavior like paper floating in air. A maze ing! They stayed up higher so they were hard to photograph.
A closed Tawny Owl Butterfly.
Blue Morpho Butterfly
We stayed in the pavilion a couple hours and were able to see a release of the newly hatched butterflies taking their first flight. Super neat. 

Resting and waiting for the release.
We ended my birthday with a family dinner at The Hibachi Grill. Our chef had us all cracking up with his corny jokes and watching his cooking antics. Great food and even better company.

I am so blessed to celebrate yet another birthday and now its 50 or bust! 


  1. Wow! That is amazing! What an awesome birthday. I can't believe you held Rosie - I totally couldn't do that :P The sticker reward might help... but I don't know. :) That place looks so awesome, we should totally come visit and go there with you, maybe your next birthday? :D

  2. I love reading your posts! You have such a fun way of telling stories and I love your sense of humor! I'm glad you had a happy birthday!