Tuesday, February 21, 2012

One for the Butterflies

Earlier today, Jops and I took a side-trip to the La Mesa Ecopark to deliver two field guides for the park and for the Nature Reserve (we recently conducted an introductory training on birdwatching for the park guides.) These were the Photographic Guide to Birds of the Philippines (by Tim Fisher and Nigel Hicks) which were donated by Ruben, a fellow WBCP member.

We looked for Sir Randy of the LMEP and were instantly directed to the new Butterfly Haven inside the park. We met him at the entrance and were invited in because it was their official launch! What luck!

The entrance to Butterfly Haven, just after the ticket booth of the park.

View of the park from the entrance steps.

We went to the pavilion which housed "cabinets" showing the different stages of the life cycle of a butterfly. A teacher's dream! 

Stage 1 shows the actual eggs of the butterfly on leaves!

Stage 2 shows small caterpillars a few days after they have hatched.
Stage 3 shows the caterpillars forming pupae and stage 4 shows the
butterflies emerging from their pupae!

I've taught this life cycle x number of times and the best material I've used then were time-lapse videos. This is way better! It is always amazing seeing life in different forms and it is even more wonderful seeing the metamorphosis as it unfolds in different stages. 

Dozens of brand new butterflies emerging from their pupae!

As we went around the butterfly park, we finally met the LMEP administrator Sir Dave Pardo and he then introduced us to ABS-CBN Foundation's Managing Director Miss Gina Lopez. He shared with her the efforts of the club to make the park more birdwatching friendly and she reminded us to support the fight against mining in Palawan.

Miss Gina Lopez (center) observes a caterpillar on her hand.

We also entered the "flight deck" which housed the new butterflies. Inside we observed 5 species of butterflies fluttering around, feeding on the flowers and on dishes with sugared water.

So, our short trip to La Mesa to turn over the field guides turned out to be a fun learning experience in their new butterfly park. More attractions for park goers. And more food for the birds? =)

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