blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Monday, March 26, 2018

The butterflies

I had a lovely day last Tuesday, which was cold, clear and bright in Ottawa like the rest of this week. In the morning I caught one of the new double-decker busses through town, sitting in the front seat on the top deck as excited as a small child to enjoy my unusual view of the city from above. A grown man on the other front seat was just as enthusiastic.
Wellington St. from the top deck

I got out at Bank and Catherine Streets to walk to the Museum of Nature where I bought an entrance ticket that included the temporary exhibition Butterflies, featuring live ones in a tropical greenhouse on the ground floor at the back of the museum. It was full of children as well as butterflies, the insects settling on their heads and sleeves and hands. I had one of the blue morphos (Morpho menelaus) from the tropics of Latin America land on my finger for a while, until I transferred it to a three year old little girl's hand. When they land you can hardly see the blue side of their wings; the other sides are dramatically patterned in shades of brown, giving the effect of eyes. Entrance to the show was by timed slots, meaning that I had to wait my turn, but once in the butterfly room, I lingered there for a good three quarters of an hour, entranced by the different kinds and colours of butterfly that begin and end their lives there. (They emerge from their chrysalides in the glass walled hatchery next door.) The staff give each visitor a thorough lecture about not treading on the butterflies---not touching their wings, not bringing them back out through the doors either accidentally or on purpose---before allowing you in.

Blue morphos sipping orange juice and showing their "eyes"

While awaiting my entry slot, I also took another look at the Arctic Gallery on the 4th level, which I saw last summer with our young German friend Toni Aschentrup, another well prepared exhibition. On this 2nd visit I had time to listen to the voice-recordings that accompany short video presentations from and about the people who live in the Arctic, very interesting. One of them said that what the Inuit can teach the world is "endurance, patience and respect", a phrase that impressed me so much, I jotted it down immediately.

Floor map of the Arctic
After my museum visit I walked home through town, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

Tuesday was not such a good day for my mother or my sister, though, in Wales. Unbalanced and more than usually bewildered by the onset of a urinary infection (a common ailment for the very elderly), Mum fell in the bathroom at her care home and needed to be checked over in hospital; my sister having to comfort her and calm her down all day.

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