In Missouri, where the humidity spawns elephantine June bugs and thrumming cicadas, the yearly insect invasion can seem like a plague. Exceptions: lightning bugs and butterflies. You dont have to be a kid to be mesmerized by the color-saturated Rorschach of a butterflys wingspan. But shadow boxes pinned with the long-dead insects, quietly moldering in natural history museums, dont quite capture the magic. And the net, camphor and preserve jar smack of sadistic boys.
The Powell Gardens Butterfly Festival
(1609 Northwest U.S. Highway 50) provides a delightful alternative a somewhat captive menagerie that flutters freely among the landscape of the gardens. Among the 20-plus native and foreign species, see the Queen, the Viceroy and the electrically indigo Blue Morpho. Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. this weekend and next. Childrens activities, including a costume parade, will be held each day. Admission costs $9 for adults and $3 for children ages 5 to 12. For more information, contact Powell Gardens at 816-697-2600.
Aug. 10-12, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Aug. 17-20, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.