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An Encounter With Butterflies
Kids visit new wing at American Museum of Natural History, spend quality time with gems, fluttery insects, and each other
An impromptu decision to pursue indoor activities yesterday (in light of the continuing climate-change inferno in our neighboring Northern province) took us to the American Museum of Natural History—whose newest wing, the Gilder Science Center, has been on our short list since it opened. We met up with Kina’s friend Runa in the hall of gems and stared at crystals for twenty minutes or so (more on that in today’s Parade), then scrambled upstairs through the cement honeycombs of the new wing to the relocated Butterfly Vivarium. The kids ran ahead with three tickets between them, sufficiently alarming the security guard that she gave me license to follow them in without a pass (sweet!) to keep an eye on the children (bittersweet!) among the butterflies (ultra sweet!)
For the next long while, Kina, Runa, and her sister Bea walked slowly through the humid vivarium with their fingers outstretched, attempting to cajole insects to perch upon them. They’d grow perilously close to one of the butterflies—just close enough to raise the attention of a nearby docent—and then wait as the butterfly studiously ignored them, each party presumably growing further annoyed with the other.
Eventually, after having given up on the hope of ever reaching the heights of butterfly princessdom, the girls withdrew from both the exhibit and the museum, retreating to Central Park, where they could touch anything they wanted to, climb big rocks, and maybe throw small rocks. It’s hard to say, since the adults were all exhausted from the museum and possibly taking naps on a nearby boulder. Some of them, probably. One or two.
There were no butterflies outside. The kids had fun.
So, this is one of the giant geodes from the aforementioned Hall of Gems. It is “four rhinos high” and the media here are pen, marker, and sticky glitter glue. That is today’s Parade.