Outdoors

The Mariposa Monarca Monarch Butterfly Exhibit at Desert Botanical Garden

There's only about a week left to see the Mariposa Monarca Monarch Butterfly Exhibit at Desert Botanical Garden. The exhibit, which closes November 14, appears at DBG every year, and remains the best way to get up close and personal with hundreds of beautiful butterflies.

We attended this past weekend, and managed to take more stunning shots of the creatures than we know what to do with.

Visitors to the Desert Botanical Garden can wander a variety of gardens set up with succulents and flowers to attract various creatures, from hummingbirds to bees. The Monarch butterfly exhibit is housed in the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Butterfly Pavilion, named for the former owners of The Scottsdale Daily Progress, who established a multi-million dollar charitable fund to establish the pavilion, among other social and charitable donations.

​One of the things that makes the exhibit so great are the confines of the 36-by-80 foot mesh pavilion. Visitors are instantly surrounded by hundred of Monarch butterflies, flying about and feeding on the numerous lush plants and trees placed in the pavilion for them. The butterflies aren't shy and will land right next to someone's head -- or even on it.

Misters and a fountain (complete with goldfish) keep the butterfly pavilion cool, and patrons could easily spend hours just sitting and watching the butterflies spread their orange and black wings and flit about through the garden. There are also displays about the life cycle and conservation of Monarch butterflies, and a few docents who are always more than willing to name some flora or chat about the Monarchs.

Photographers particularly love this exhibit, because it offers opportunities to take some great nature shots. Check out a handful of the photographs we took below.

The Mariposa Monarca Monarch Butterfly Exhibit is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, through November 14, at Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway. Admission cost $3.50 for the general public with garden admission ($15 for adults, with discounts for seniors, students, and members). Call 480-941-1225 or visit www.dgb.org for more information. 


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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea