fishies and butterflies

How South Dakota looks today

last weekend, i joined my sister, brother-in-law and niece for a roadtrip to sioux falls, south dakota. we were celebrating hannie’s third birthday!


the hotel we were staying at was very nice and comfortable, but the pool was made for the kids. it’s deepest point was only 3′! so on friday night i spent some time playing in the 1′ deep end with hannie (and bryan). we went down the slide together a few times — we couldn’t quite convince her to go down the slide on her own! maybe next time.


bright and early on saturday morning, we went to the sertoma butterfly house.

“May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun,
And find your shoulders to light on.”

before going to see the butterflies, i spent some time chatting with the fish.

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puffer fish are adorable.


i also pet a manta ray and a horseshoe crab. then the crab flipped itself over and we all went “ewwww!”


from left: dad (trying to find every fish listed on the guide), gramma d, karyn, hannie and bryan.

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have you noticed how every clown fish ever will now be know as nemo? i first experienced this phenomenon at an aquarium in salzburg, austria, many years ago (geez, over 8 years ago, actually).

on to the butterflies!


the butterfly room is kept at a certain temperature and humidity level so when we walked in, my camera immediately fogged up. oops! i might not have noticed if it weren’t for all of the owl butterflies near the doorway that greeted us.

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this flower is very pretty and quite tall, though i don’t remember what its name is.


there were special fruit-feeding stations every few feet. fun to see the butterflies with their “tongues” out!

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“pop-pop” gives hannie a lift to see the butterflies.

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then a butterfly landed on dad’s shoulder and it was the coolest thing ever.


and THEN a butterfly landed on ME and it was WOW THE COOLEST THING EVER. i am so easily excited, y’all.


he was a very nice little butterfly, posing with his wings open and everything.

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that guy was up on a wall out of reach (and almost out of sight) but i think it might be the moth that had an 11″ wingspan — the atlas moth. he was huge.


and as bryan and i were about to leave the butterfly room (it felt like it was getting gradually warmer in there), another guy landed on me — a blue morpho! he was not as cooperative about opening his pretty little wings, though.


i look stern because i was telling him to just open his dang wings.


bryan readied his camera as i (gently) poked the butterfly’s legs (he poked back at me). he quickly fluttered his wings a few times and bryan managed to get a shot. then it was bryan’s turn!

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so pretty. then we finally scared it off and it went and landed in the next’s lady’s hair.

Butterfly meal time

and then it was time for lunch! can you believe all of this fun happened before noon? more about the weekend later. 🙂

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