Friday, September 12, 2014

Family Fun with Butterflies, Birds, and Fish at the Tennessee Aquarium


This past weekend our two daughters (Christine and Liz) joined us in Chattanooga with their daughters (Adella (left) and Everleigh (right) respectively) for some family fun. We also brought along our youngest grandchild (Riley) since his father was not able to bring him. We were only missing the oldest grandchild (Joshua) who happens to be in school in Florida. It was delightful to have three of the four grandkids together and the two girls! Mr. Fix-it and I had a wonderful and relaxing time. Thanks Chris and Liz for taking Riley overnight! 

We met in Chattanooga to kind of shorten the driving distance for Christine and to also have fun at the Tennessee Aquarium. While the grandkids might've been a bit young to really enjoy the sights and sounds of the aquarium, they did have a good time as did the the adults. Here the three grandkids are looking at two very noisy, very blue, very big macaws. These birds were quite fascinating to the kids until they squawked. That really got their attention but no one was scared enough to cry. It was a good start to the tour and we spent several hours at this wonderful attraction in southeastern Tennessee-for once I was a visitor to a tourist attraction in a state I actually lived in!
The aquarium has much more than just fish in it. I did not know the Tennessee Aquarium had a butterfly house. It was a very small butterfly house but a very prolific one nonetheless. Their chrysalis hatching area was huge compared to Callaway Gardens; which had a much a bigger and stand alone butterfly pavilion.  I think I could've stayed and watched those butterflies hatch out all day long had it not been for more touring to do. 

One really cool feature of the butterfly house was a hook containing fresh fruit skewered on it and hung from the ceiling. There were several butterflies on it but when I approached all of them flew off-except this one. Can you see it?
It is a nicely camouflaged butterfly that I believe is a gray comma butterfly. I may be wrong on the identification so if I am please let me know! I should've looked it up on the handy charts while I was in the butterfly house but did not. This butterfly really looked like another piece of food or a dried leaf. Looking at it casually you might not ever know it is there because it was perfectly still feasting on the juices from the fruit.
The last butterfly I will share is a blue morpho. These are common butterflies where Christine resides in Florida but I am not so familiar with them in my area. Christine was quite familiar with it and while we were there one landed on her arm and hung out there for quite a while. The outside of this butterfly looks like a giant owl butterfly but the seven spots actually gives this one away. If it was to open its wings the butterfly would look completely different and beautiful. It is, like its name, blue! It is a spectacularly colored butterfly but only when the wings are opened....

in the garden....with family.
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. I can't believe this was your first visit to this awesome aquarium! We have been twice and we just love the butterfly room! Enjoyed your photos but my all time favorite is the one of the kids all standing side by side looking up at the bird. Great photo of the cousins.....

  2. I like to sit & watch them. They are so graceful & beautiful.

  3. That photo of the grandkids is adorable!!!
    They must've loved the butterfly house!
    I visited the one on the border of Canada and wished I could've gotten the Blue Morph
    with opened wings...they are fast!

  4. Love the fresh fruit attracting butterflies.

  5. Adorable grand kids! My children loved butterfly gardens when they were little too. The camouflage is impressive.

  6. What an adorable photo of your grandkids! I love butterfly houses; I am captivated, too, by them, but how much more fun to have the grandkids along to enjoy it!

  7. What a cute photo of all the little ones. Love that butterfly. My neighbor had a similar one recently stop at her garden. Thanks for sharing your outing.