29 Sep 2008

Studying at the zoo!

Our week in Melbourne allowed us to take advantage of another resource that too often our city counterparts take for granted - the zoo!

The venue for our nature study this week was the magnificent Butterfly House at the Melbourne Zoo! We were surrounded by hundreds of colourful butterflies in flight and at rest among the lush vegetation in this magnificent tropical glasshouse. All the butterfly species are native to tropical and subtropical Australia, and we were able to view many of them up close as they landed on Jemimah's hand or hair. I enjoyed photographing many of the species too.

There are certainly opportunities for nature study wherever you live.

The next photo is of a male Cairns Birdwing, Australia’s largest butterfly - check out its curly tongue!

This butterfly has a wingspan of up to 7 inches! They live in the tropical rainforest between Mackay and Cooktown in NE Queensland where they are most often seen flying in the canopy of the rainforest.

The smaller male butterfly has green wings with black markings, while the female has black wings with yellow and white markings. The abdomen of both the male and the female is yellow and the thorax is red.

Here's a favourite poem from Jemimah's Nature Notebook:

Deux Petits Papillons Roux

Deux petits papillons roux
Tourbillonnent, tourbillonnent
Deux petits papillons roux
Tourbillonnent dans l'air doux
Et tombe la feuille d'automne!

Louis Codet 1877-1918

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