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Sketched Jan. 12, 2016

In the middle of January, I welcome the opportunities to sketch in a warm spot and away from the rain. The Tropical Butterfly House at Pacific Science Center couldn’t be any better for that. It’s 80 degrees inside!

Butterflies have short lifespans —days or weeks— but the exhibit is constantly being renewed. Shipments of about 500 chrysalises arrive every week from El Salvador, Costa Rica, Suriname and other tropical locations, keeping the enclosed space populated with about 2,000 colorful specimens at all times.

The fragile insects are fascinating to watch. I looked closely as an owl butterfly probed a slice of kiwi and others feasted on sugared water.

Many excited kids approached the feeding station as I drew. Their reactions left a smile on my face for the rest of the rainy day. “I just had a butterfly land on my head!”