Beautiful Bugs Winging This Way

The Natural History Museum's Butterfly Pavilion will open in April.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Friday, Mar 29, 2013  |  Updated 8:42 PM PDT
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Beautiful Bugs Winging This Way

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The Natural History Museum's Butterfly Pavilion opens on Sunday, April 14.

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Monarch Butterflies, those legendary, seen-on-calendars-and-greeting-cards-everywhere wonders, capture many a Californians' imagination (and tourist dollar) during the wintertime.

But when they depart our Central Coast in droves come the springtime, what flying insect is there to fill that particular beauty void? Where can butterfly-blissful Golden Staters turn?

Well, they turn to their gardens, of course, and decks and balconies, but they also look to our zoos and institutions. A few spots like the San Diego Zoo Safari Park set up butterfly areas, areas that are populated with a multitude of gorgeous flying things.

And here in Los Angeles? The Natural History Museum does the honors via Butterfly Pavilion. Some 53 species will fill the outdoor nook this year, an enclosed section where butterflies and people alike may frolic, sometimes together. Okay, truth: Butterflies may land on humans, not the other way around, so bipeds should likely keep serious frolicking to a minimum.

The Pavilion will debut on the museum's South Lawn Sunday, April 14 and run through Labor Day.

Let us note that over a third -- call it twenty -- of the butterflies will be California natives this year, in case you see a butterfly you've spied around your own yard. (We'll guess it might not be the same exact butterfly, but, you probably guessed that.)

Science will be explained, too, in interesting ways, as science often is. Migration and plant interactions are two topics you'll learn more about.

Oh, and the state insect? It's in the Pavilion as well. That's the gorgeous California dogface, of course.

An adult general admission to the museum plus entrance to the Butterfly Pavilion is $15.

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