As a young girl, I was the epitome of a tomboy. I’d spend hours in my childhood home’s back yard in the Midwestern United States. I’d hunt for critters large and small, tend to my open air clubhouse, and maintain the ravine’s trails as if I were a park ranger.
Seeing the delicate butterflies on parade with their extravagant costumes was a treat: sophisticated black & white dresses, polka dots, neutral ensembles, colorful madness!
The manner in which some of the butterflies systematically laid eggs on leaves reminded me of Braille, or the sugary dot candy I so enjoyed as a little one. Despite the signs warning visitors about treating the insects with care (hands off!), some kids were so fascinated by the life cycle that they plucked at the eggs while Mom & Dad stayed silent.
Another butterfly stood guard near a neighborhood of vacated chrysalises.
My husband turned out to be a butterfly magnet, attracting a dainty, yellow butterfly for the duration of our visit inside the greenhouse-like structure.
After Shawn had bid farewell to his flighty lady we marveled at the pitcher plants – just as a tiny ant was about to fall into the sticky vessel. Despite their carnivorous ways, I loved the plants’ design – twisty, curly-q like limbs and a textured pottery-like appearance!
We then visited the ducks, toads and frogs, iguanas, cockroaches and spiders (the latter two of which I have an irrational fear). As a former owner to a toad named Timmy, I was thrilled to see the croaking creatures, warts and all.
Now, if only I can work on that silly, childhood fear of certain insects that are so plentiful in Southeast Asia and beyond! :)
Getting There: Time certainly flies while at the Penang Butterfly Farm, billed as the “tropical world’s first live butterfly & insect sanctuary.” Be sure you arrive a few hours before closing time, as we found ourselves with much to see in the exhibit areas and not enough time. We traveled to the sanctuary by local bus and then taxi (a short ride) from our guesthouse in Georgetown.
Have you been to the Penang Butterfly Farm – what did you think? What favorites from your childhood would you like to revisit?
Where in the World?
Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.