from Deanna Travis

FlyAnglers Online

Publisher & Owner



March 14, 2011

Just one of the advantages of being a ‘snowbird’ which we really aren’t - if we wanted snow we would still be in Montana - should have been named Sunbirds, anyway, we get to go and do neat things and see neat stuff. Of course my husband Trav and I are always interested in almost anything about the outdoors, and I suspect as fly fishers you probably are too.

It probably doesn’t surprise you then to discover we spent several hours in a rather hot greenhouse watching absolutely beautiful butterflies recently. This is part of the current exhibits at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. What a fabulous show.

We went early in the morning, since Trav had been a volunteer there when he spent the winter here in Tucson before. He also volunteers at Saguaro National Park here as well (in fact he is doing a program on owls for a Night Hike at the park as I write this.) So he knew the display would get very warm as the day wore on and it would also be packed with people as the day later in the day. Normally there would be lots of school kids and folks of all kinds admiring the butterflies from the tropics.

Here are just a few photos of what we saw there.

Sight Seeing - Ladyfisher - March 14, 2011

Sight Seeing - Ladyfisher - March 14, 2011

Sight Seeing - Ladyfisher - March 14, 2011Sight Seeing - Ladyfisher - March 14, 2011

Another fascinating critter was the owl moth which had holes in its wings! I had never seen anything quite like that before.

We toured the rest of the gardens which also have a display of Wicked Plants going on. These plants are sneaky — they may be rooted to one spot but they’ve developed many ways to spread pollen and seeds, defend against predators, and snare the food they need to survive. These tactics can be harmful to people and pets, even deadly! The Gardens Wicked Plants exhibit explores the more nefarious members of the plant kingdom ‑ poisonous, carnivorous and just plain nasty. All in all it was very neat stuff.

There are displays for adapting gardening to fit the desert conditions here as well as actual display gardens you can use at home.

The Tucson Botanical Gardens are a very special place with wonderful exhibits and a very nice gift show. The Butterfly Exhibit runs through the end of April. We had other plans when we were there, but they do have an excellent Café on the property too. 

If you are in the region, this is a must see place. I’m so glad we could visit the Butterfly Exhibit; but the whole garden was a terrific experience.

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