Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Sensational butterflies – live butterflies at the National History Museum

I love butterflies. Always have. So when I heard that the National History Museum was hosting a live outdoor butterfly house, I insisted to the Boy that we had to go to this exhibition. And that he was paying. He was terribly excited.

So Monday afternoon, before I closed the book on the chapter of my life that was the wedding, we had one last day before I trekked back to work and we headed off to the “sensational butterflies” exhibition.

The exhibition is in an eco-friendly conservatory on the front lawn of the museum, crammed full of humid air, tropical greenery, butterfly tourists and the creatures themselves. 

This clever butterfly fooled me...I thought it was a dead leaf! 

It was small, but this meant you could actually see the beauties fluttering about and get up close and personal to them. The environment is obviously designed for tropical butterflies so be prepared for hot and muggy conditions, but it’s nothing unmanageable.  

passion-fruit flower 

using their long tongue to get the sweet nectar...

There are plenty of staff about too if you want to ask questions as the kids did. And me. I learnt that you can tell the difference between a butterfly and moth as a moth has furry antennae and rest with their wings fully open!

this is actually a moth obviously, check out the furry antennae

two butterflies having a bit of sexy time! 

It was actually quite calming to be amongst the greenery and butterflies, as when do we ever just take a moment from the daily grind to just be and observe. They are actually pretty playful creatures, flying high and low and settling wherever they feel like, fluttering around sporadically. They’ll occasionally find a leaf, or a person, to settle on though so you can guarantee to come home with some photos to show off!

Hurry, its only on until mid September! 


 top butterfly facts...

  1. caterpillars sometimes make noises to scare away predators.
  2. Butterflies can see red, green, and yellow.
  3. Butterflies cannot fly if their body temperature is less than 86 degrees.
  4. There are about 24,000 species of butterflies.
  5. a caterpillar has as many as 4,000 muscles in its body.
  6. Some moths never eat anything as adults because they don't have mouths. They must live on the energy they stored as caterpillars.
  7. Many butterflies can taste with their feet to find out whether the leaf they sit on is good to lay eggs on to be their caterpillars' food or not.
  8. Butterflies have their skeletons on the outside of their bodies, called the exoskeleton. This protects the insect and keeps water inside their bodies so they don’t dry out.


  1. Lovely Alice - glad it was fun! I'm actually planning to head along and write a post on this myself!

    Beautiful photos from your wedding, many congratulations!

    Here's mine if you wanted to take a look. Still trying to work out all the functionality, but I'll get there :)

    www.beautyandthebigsmoke.blogspot.co.uk xx

    1. You should definitely go!
      I will look out for it on your blog!

      Thank you for your congrats - hopefully I will get my photos of the wedding arriving soon, was hoping to do a wedding show and tell :-)

      Alice x