Delicate aviators

Some time ago I visited the Chemnitz Botanical Garden again. This time, however, not to admire plants. Rather, the flying gems were eagerly awaited. Yes, it is every year in May, when many butterflies fly in the tropical house.


You will ask yourselves where these butterflies are supposed to come from in the greenhouse. The botanical garden always gets butterfly puppets from so-called butterfly farms in April. All nature conservationists can be reassured, no butterflies are caught in nature. These chrysalis then hang in a protected place in the greenhouse and look like fresh green or dried brown leaves. In them, however, the miracle of metamorphosis happens.


We bears look just like the big ones, even as baby bears. Not the butterflies. It all starts with a tiny egg from which an equally small caterpillar hatches. Now this creature has to eat a lot to get big. If it has managed this and has not itself become food for hungry birds, for example, then it hides somewhere and builds itself a cocoon. What it looks like is different for each species, sometimes woven from silk, sometimes glued from leaves. Now the unimaginable happens. In this doll the caterpillar disappears and the butterfly is born. I cannot really imagine how a slender body with delicate wings and legs can develop from a thick round body. But nature knows what she is doing and after a while something begins to move in the cocoon. Then it won’t be long before it bursts open and the born-again creature slips out, this time as a butterfly.

The delicate creatures feel at home in the tropical house. They can drink nectar on different flowers. But there are also food stations with fruit that ferments easily in the heat, which are very popular with the delicate pilots. For me as a strong bear, these fragile creatures are fascinating. I visit them every year and then sit there for hours, absorbed in contemplation of these filigree wonders.

Your very ferocious Grizzly




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