Sunday, June 6, 2010

Butterflies at Kew

As part of the Year of Biodiversity, Kew have an exhibition (if that's the right word!) of Butterflies Bugs and Beasties at Kew and I went along yesterday to see them.

They are situated just inside the Princess of Wales glasshouse
in a section that's carefully netted off so they don't escape with the visitors back out into the sunshine!
As you enter, there are some great sculptures which next time I go I think I will try and photograph in more detail.

Now, I'm not an expert and there weren't any leaflets left to tell me what they all are, so forgive me if there are any experts out there among you, but I think this is an Atlas Moth. It was huge! (have checked Kew's website, it is - an atlas moth that is, you can see it's huge!)
There were some really beautiful blue ones that just wouldn't settle although I just about caught this one.They were dashing about all over the place so fast! It looked like a game of chase - 2 or 3 of them all playing together.
Some of them were more than happy to sit and pose!
Especially on the tempting plates of fruit
It was mighty hot in there - 29 degrees and humid like you wouldn't believe - they were spraying the plants to increase the humidity, I guess the butterflies like it!!
They also have a case where they are emerging

It was so hot inside this section of the glasshouse I had to keep leaving and returning later!  Inside the main section of the glasshouse, they have some huge bugs and beasties Glad they're not real!!
Outside there is a large clump of poppies - my favourites - and I had to stop and take some shots of the light shining through the petals again. Got a bit carried away here - am only showing you a selection!!

Just love them!!
Mind you these Nigella are beautiful too.

And in the Waterlily house there are some lovely flowers too.
And the reflection of the roof in the pool was looking particularly good yesterday.
I always listen to a small radio when I walk round Kew which is normally clipped onto my jeans belt but because I wasn't wearing jeans yesterday, (far too hot even for me to wear jeans!) I had the radio inside my camera bag and everytime I wanted to take a photo I had to either unplug my earpiece or keep the bag on my shoulder to avoid risking pulling my ear off forgetting where the radio was! I always listen to Radio 5 live, being a sports nut, and Saturday morning radio is quite funny - I have suddenly realised that's why I thought I was getting funny looks, laughing to myself..... there goes that mad woman again.....
Anyhow, this was one of those shots where I nearly pulled my ear off when I put the bag down. Ouch!!

I also went into the Palm House - they are playing the sounds of the rainforest (dawn whilst I was there in the morning; dusk in the afternoons) on a loop through speakers set up all round the Palm House - sounds of monkeys, and insects and all kinds of jungle life! This time I went up to the high walkway round the top - not done that for a while. Must have been suffering a sugar shortage as it was hard work yesterday!it gives you a good idea of just how tall the plants grow though!
I love the iron staircases too.

Outside, the swan has left her nest and they were swimming around on the lake, but the gunnera has grown madly even in the 2 weeks since I was last there. 
 More arty-farty pics of the sun shining through the leaves - I was standing under the shade of a big tree for this one - as you can see from the branches dipping "artistically" in the foreground - it was so nice to get out of the sun for a minute or two!!  It wasn't really until I starting going to Kew regularly that I realised just how many shades of green there are!!
And before I left, my obligatory shot of the sun on the water of the fountain in the lake. I can't resist it. I know I have loads, and I know I have blogged loads, but - it's my blog!!
Ok, that's it for this week's trip.  Next Saturday is the Craft Barn Extravaganza, so any photos will be on the other blog! See you soon.


Lesley said...

Brilliant pics Helen. We have a butterfly farm not far from us at Buckfastleigh and we took Jack there a few weeks ago. He loved it! I do enjoy all the butterflies and moths.

The gardens are looking stunning. I particularly like the orange poppies and giant lilypads.
keep the pics coming - it's never too many!

Did I read somewhere that there is a new overhead jungle walkway opening at Kew - or maybe I dreamt it lol!

Enjoy the Craft Barn - only been once and it's fab!
Lesley x

Lori said...

I can see why you are a frequent visitor to these gardens. I just spent a good 10 minutes admiring the photos from the previous posts that I needed to catch up on. What great shots of the poppies and those butterflies are AWESOME!

Minxy said...

Aw these pics are great, i just love butterflys and i too have a pic of a very large atles moth that i saw when visiting a butterfly and otter sacantury.. can i ask is the butterfly event on for a long time at kew?