Saturday, April 26, 2008

#52. Attend the Butterfly Festival

The Task: Attend Tree Hill Nature Center’s Annual Butterfly Festival.
Progress: Completed on April 26, 2008 when we attended the 7th Annual Butterfly Festival at Tree Hill Nature Center.

"April is Florida Butterfly & Butterfly Gardening Month. Tree Hill mascot, Bella Butterfly, invites you to celebrate Tree Hill style Saturday, April 26, 2008 at the nature center's 7th Annual Butterfly Festival. The festival features a butterfly exhibit, games and activities for children, live entertainment, special lecturers, food and much more. Guests are encouraged to roam the trails, learn more about butterfly gardening and the environment from local experts, and shop at the Monarch Mall where vendors showcase everything from native plants to yard art and jewelry. The event culminates with nature's fireworks - a live native butterfly release. This year's event commemorates Tree Hill's 37th anniversary as Jacksonville's Nature Center and is the premier butterfly festival of Northeast Florida. Over 4,000 nature enthusiasts enjoyed last year's butterfly festival. Tree Hill Nature Center is home to 50 acres of trails, a Florida Natural History Museum, butterfly and hummingbird gardens and native animals. For over three decades, it has provided the best in environmental and energy education to our community. Tree Hill is a frequent stop for school field trips, Scout troops and families just looking to take a walk in the woods."

We arrived just in time to catch the end of 'Poetry Rocks'.
After which we wandered the grounds for a while.

The Butterfly House was probably the most popular attraction.

The bubble machine was a close second!!

Monarch Mall was very informative...
it got me excited about Butterfly Gardening again!!

The Wildlife Rescue Coalition was there too.
This little skunk was raised on a fur farm where he was bred to have these rather exotic colors. Since his scent glands have been removed, he'd have no protection in the wild & can't be re-released. When the farm was closed he went to live with a family, but ultimately that didn't work out. He ended up with the Wildlife Rescue Coalition.

The Jacksonville Shell Club was there too.
(Who knew Jacksonville had a shell club?)

Jax Beach Seafood offered such edible delicacies as gator & frog legs...

We also saw Bella Butterfly, the mascot, over at the Puddlin' Pond...

her wings far outshine my own.

We walked the nature trails that were open
(unfortunately the main facility was closed during the festival).

We happened upon this turtle (tortoise?) along the way.

More sights from the 'Florida-friendly' trail...

Notice the banana tree bloom above!

Overall, it was a fun afternoon! We didn't actually end up staying for "nature's fireworks" (i.e. the butterfly release). We were hungry and had a couple hours before it began. We decided to chalk it up to a lesson learned & vowed to plan our trip around the release next year!

You can see all the progress I've made on my '101 Things in 1001 Days List' here.

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