These pictures were taken at a butterfly house near Denver, Colorado. The Butterfly Pavilion is in Westminster. But it isn't just butterflies. They have sea creatures like horseshoe crabs and starfish, arthropods like spiders and cockroaches, and other invertebrates. In fact, it was the first invertebrate zoo in the nation. Are there more now? I don't know. Their mission is to foster an appreciation of invertebrates, which, they say, make up 97 % of the species alive today. It was great fun visiting. In addition to the butterfly house, with abundant butterflies, they have petting areas where kids get to touch the animals and gardens where people can find wildlife. Great experience!
As an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, I studied Conservation of Natural Resources. I took a couple of entomology classes and became very interested in insects. After I graduated, I held several jobs working with bugs: in the fields of central California, the forests of Connecticut and Idaho, and the labs of Berkeley. Then I went to grad school and studied entomology at UC Riverside and UC Berkeley (back in the olden days when UCB had an entomology department). When my kids were little, I wanted to share my love of insects with them, so I started a butterfly garden before butterfly gardens were popular. Then of course, their teachers asked me to bring caterpillars into the classroom and I started doing classroom presentations. I do presentations in elementary schools, provide teacher trainings, teach adult school classes, and bring live insect specimens to garden fairs. My book is perfect for helping elementary school kids learn about butterflies.