The first time I went to the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House in Faust Park it was a chilly, rainy day in March. I thought it might be nice to experience it during another season, and Tony had never been there before, so today we decided to visit.
We had vouchers for admission, so the first thing we did was stop and exchange them for tickets. Although there's a nice display of invertebrates and arthropods in the lobby, we didn't spend a lot of time looking at them. We did, however, watch a short movie about butterflies in the theater before we moved to the conservatory area, entering through the double door vestibule into the sultry atmosphere. Our glasses immediately fogged up. After a few seconds they cleared enough for us to see butterflies of all shapes, sizes and colors.
The butterfly conservatory area is like a miniature rain forest containing free-flying tropical butterflies. It's hot and humid (85 degrees with 75% humidity.) Within five minutes I felt like I was in a sauna, although it was more comfortable today (since I was wearing shorts and a tank top) than it had been in cool weather jeans on the last visit. It was warmest around the perimeter of the glass-walled building, but if you stood under the shade of some of the towering vegetation it was cooler. We walked along all of the meandering paths, stopping to look at both the butterflies and the tropical plants.
There were butterflies everywhere, flying, eating, and resting. A couple of times I had one fly straight at my face, but at the last minute it changed direction and zipped away over my head. We watched butterflies get nourishment from flowers and a few dining on rotting fruit that had been placed on trays. Tony sat down on a bench, and had a butterfly land right next to him.
After we'd seen everything, it was time to leave. We went through the set of double doors and back into the exhibition area. After the humidity of the conservatory the air condition felt wonderful.