Okay, there is nothing that sounds more lame than a butterfly farm. Ironically, it was the COOLEST thing I did while I was in Costa Rica. It was just part of this tour I took, so I reluctantly went along.
We entered a huge enclosed area that had thousands of exotic butterflies fluttering about. There were hundreds of types of flowers and plants. Every other leaf had some crazy-looking caterpillars on them and under each plant was a new type of chrysalis.
Here is a picture of some rare blue butterfly with a crazy Latin name that not even Nero could pronounce.*
They had a wall on which they would take chrysalises and pin them in long rows. They had about 1000 of these things pinned up, and you could literally stand there and watch a new butterfly being born every 30-45 seconds. Here are a few of the colorful ones – many are covered in shiny gold, silver, jade, and other iridescent colors.*
Below is a picture of one of the butterflies just after it emerged. It spends the first 30 minutes of its life pumping out fluid from its bloated stomach into its wings to help them unfurl and strengthen.*
Here is another row of some green chrysalises. I am still not used to writing the plural version of that word, and I don’t think I ever will be.*
Here is a picture of another butterfly that was just born. If you look at the left side of the wing, you can see the pattern has evolved to look like a snakehead to scare away birds.*
And last, no trip to a butterfly farm would be complete without me doing something stupid like licking a caterpillar I found. It actually numbed my tongue for about 10 minutes. It was ill-advised, but I am slowly building up a resistance so I can lick insects and not have to worry about the aftereffects. That’s planning ahead.*
*(Pictures in metamorphosis.)