Thursday, February 9, 2012

Peaches, Pine trees and Butterflies = Hotlanta

Twelve solid hours driving at approximately 80-90 mph will get you to Atlanta from Elkhart.  Clearly, I wasn't behind the wheel...I keep a consistent 65-70 mph on the highways and it would have taken us dayz to get there. 

What do you associate Atlanta with?  I have always defaulted to peaches.  However, a quick trip to see my mom and stepdad, discovered that actually, it's not peaches that they are really known for...it's Pine trees.  I also found out that Atlanta has a place called Callaway Gardens that plays host to a butterfly aquarium.  I was so excited when my mom wanted to take us here. 

Did you know that butterflies are considered a bug and frogs are amphibians... both are the only creatures that go thru a metamorphosis.   Catapillar to butterfly and tadpole to frog. 

You know I love butterflies and here are some fun facts about them I found on the web...
  1. Butterflies range in size from a tiny 1/8 inch to a huge almost 12 inches.
  2. Butterflies can see red, green, and yellow.
  3. Some people say that when the black bands on the Woolybear caterpillar are wide, a cold winter is coming.
  4. The top butterfly flight speed is 12 miles per hour. Some moths can fly 25 miles per hour!
  5. Monarch butterflies journey from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of about 2,000 miles, and return to the north again in the spring.
  6. Butterflies cannot fly if their body temperature is less than 86 degrees.
  7. Representations of butterflies are seen in Egyptian frescoes at Thebes, which are 3,500 years old.
  8. Antarctica is the only continent on which no Lepidoptera have been found.
  9. There are about 24,000 species of butterflies. The moths are even more numerous: about 140,000 species of them were counted all over the world.
  10. The Brimstone butterfly (Gonepterix rhamni) has the longest lifetime of the adult butterflies: 9-10 months.
  11. Some Case Moth caterpillars (Psychidae) build a case around themselves that they always carry with them. It is made of silk and pieces of plants or soil.
  12. The caterpillars of some Snout Moths (Pyralididae) live in or on water-plants.
  13. The females of some moth species lack wings, all they can do to move is crawl.
  14. The Morgan's Sphinx Moth from Madagascar has a proboscis (tube mouth) that is 12 to 14 inches long to get the nectar from the bottom of a 12 inch deep orchid discovered by Charles Darwin.
  15. Some moths never eat anything as adults because they don't have mouths. They must live on the energy they stored as caterpillars.
  16. Many butterflies can taste with their feet to find out whether the leaf they sit on is good to lay eggs on to be their caterpillars' food or not.
  17. There are more types of insects in one tropical rain forest tree than there are in the entire state of Vermont.
  18. In 1958 Entomologist W.G. Bruce published a list of Arthropod references in the Bible. The most frequently named bugs from the Bible are: Locust: 24, Moth: 11, Grasshopper: 10, Scorpion: 10, Caterpillar: 9, and Bee: 4.
  19. People eat insects – called "Entomophagy"(people eating bugs) – it has been practiced for centuries throughout Africa, Australia, Asia, the Middle East, and North, Central and South America. Why? Because many bugs are both protein-rich and good sources of vitamins, minerals and fats.
  20. YOU can eat bugs! We have seen this on Fear Factor and they usually aren't butterflies. 
  21. Many insects can carry 50 times their own body weight. This would be like an adult person lifting two heavy cars full of people.
  22. There are over a million described species of insects. Some people estimate there are actually between 15 and 30 million species.
  23. Most insects are beneficial to people because they eat other insects, pollinate crops, are food for other animals, make products we use (like honey and silk) or have medical uses.
  24. Butterflies and insects have their skeletons on the outside of their bodies, called the exoskeleton. This protects the insect and keeps water inside their bodies so they don’t dry out.

We had a great time and I would suggest, if you get to Atlanta, go to Callaway Gardens.


My beautiful momma, sister Lucinda and stepdad Billy.

Momma, Lucinda and Mel

A hand-carved, wooden totem pole of butterflies
Butterflies feed on these orange slices
   So beautiful
If I were a butterfly, I think I'd like living in this gigantic aquarium surrounded by flowers...waterfalls...foliage...a coy fish pond...orange slices...people coming to watch my beauty.  It seemed simple...it was amazing...I can't wait to go back.

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