Opening: Butterfly Pavilion at NHM - NBC Southern California

Opening: Butterfly Pavilion at NHM

Flitting winged creatures dart and delight, in Exposition Park.



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    Butterfly Pavilion makes its charming seasonal debut on Sunday, April 12 at the Natural History Museum. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

    "Stop and smell the roses" is good, time-honored advice, but we'd also add "pause and admire the butterflies" to the all-important "seize life's moment" list as well.

    For while a rose is absolutely lovely, it is sure to still be there when you stroll home from your walk. But a butterfly? It'll flit, it'll flap, and it'll likely be gone, having moved on to inspect a flower a street away.

    The Natural History Museum's annual spring-into-summer treat, however, helps the whole "pause and admire the butterflies" plan so very much. There's a whole netted-in pavilion devoted to the insects -- a Butterfly Pavilion, in fact -- and visitors are welcome to linger and look up one of the wild world's most flittable, flyable, off-we-go creatures.

    Butterfly Pavilion debuts on Sunday, April 12, and it is open daily through Sept. 7. "More than 30 native North American butterfly species and an array of plants" are on view, a view that can be enjoyed with a special general museum admission + Butterfly Pavilion admission ticket. "(T)he Butterfly Pavilion sells out daily," says NHM, so plotting your pause -- the all-important pause of standing still and watching the butterflies -- is essential in advance.

    As for the beauties making the Pavilion their warm-weather pad for 2015? Look for Monarchs, Buckeyes, and the mysteriously monikered Mourning Cloaks. Two thirds of the Butterfly Pavilion residents are Golden State natives, while ten of the wing-pretty insects hail from sub-tropical areas.

    Staffers are on-hand -- or on-wing? -- to explain all and make your moment with the zig-zaggiest of airborne beasties interesting and educational, both. The plants, by the by, will grow a lot over the season, and caterpillars will be presented and accounted for.

    Caterpillars! Fuzzy amazingness right there.

    For more backstory on butterflyana, flutter this way. And while the Butterfly Pavilion does make it easier to pause and admire, one should never pass up eyeing a Monarch as it passes through a backyard. True, it's probably only there for a blip, but what a very beautiful blip it is, indeed.

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