Butterfly Jungle: Wing Your Way to Safari Park

Eye Orange Julias, Tailed Jays, and more breeze-catching beauties.

BE AMONG THE BOWS: If nature is a gift, and every leaf and plant and breeze and ray of sunshine is something else nice contained in the larger present, then butterflies would be the bows. Oh, they're part of the grand present that is the natural world, too, but given their beautiful bow-like shape, and their talent for alighting atop things in the bows top packages, butterflies do have a way of catching attention. So when you place them in true profusion, as many zoos and natural history museums and animal parks do in the springtime, you can feel as though the gift that is nature is just alive with beauty. It isn't necessary to spy every single species contained within a netted butterfly area, but bet you can pick out several of the residents and name what they are by the hue or design of their wing.

BUTTERFLY JUNGLE... at San Diego Zoo Safari Park just debuted this week, and there are over 30 species on the 2015 team roster. Orange Julias, Giant Swallowtails, Monarchs, and Grecian Shoemakers, Golden Heliconds, and Giant Owls, which are not giant owls, of course, but rather insects bearing beautiful owl-eyed designs on their wee bodies. Can you name them all, though? No one will quiz you to get inside the jungle -- or out -- but brushing up on your butterflies is always a fine idea before a visit. Of course, we'll assume, you can name the Monarch, which is just wrapping up its California seasonal stop-over.

OTHER JOYFUL JUNGLE DOINGS: Eateries in the Butterfly Jungle vicinity are keeping in theme with goodies like butterfly-decorated cupcakes. There are Instagram photo contests, an I.D. guide to keep your Golden Heliconds straight, and other ways to maximize your visit with the mini-sized superstars. The whole enterprise flits away on April 12, which happens to be the exact date that LA's own Natural History Museum throws the netting wide on Butterfly Pavilion.

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