Assorted Non-Feline Creatures

Tempting though it is right now to write a ranty post about technology in general entitled “Why Does Nothing Bloody Work Properly” or maybe “Thank You Firefox For Completely Buggering Up My Day”, I’m going to resist and write about something nicer instead. Namely my visit to the Butterfly Farm (now Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World) at the weekend. I hadn’t been there in probably over 20 years but we were in the area looking for something to do and I had my zoom lens on so it seemed a good idea. But as soon as we stepped in the door, the warmth and the rich smell of vegetation in there brought the memories flooding back.

Warning: there is a picture of a large tarantula in this entry. Don’t scroll down if you don’t want to see it!

I like butterflies, but they’re very hard to photograph. The one in the banner at the top of this page is the only decent butterfly pic I’ve ever managed to take in the wild.

In a confined space and with lots of fruit and nice flowers to tempt them it’s a little bit easier, but I still didn’t manage to get a proper picture of any of the beautiful blue ones with their wings open… they move too fast and don’t seem to like sitting still for any length of time.

Some of the creatures in the back section seem to be stretching the definition of “butterfly and insect” a bit…

The highlight was definitely the handling session. Doing the rounds today were a giant millipede, a python and a tarantula. Laura only handled the python but was brave enough to stay around and photograph me with the others.


The millipede was the weirdest and actually freaked me out more than the others. It was very hard and plasticky feeling and had more legs than should be allowed attached to a single creature.

The pythons seemed really docile and were obviously used to being handed around groups of small kids and not-so-small kids. But you could feel the power of their muscles flexing as they moved, it almost felt like touching some animatronic setup with a very heavy solid metal mechanism inside. I wouldn’t want to be around if one of them decided I was lunch and needed a good squeezing.

The tarantula (Rosie II) was also very placid and calm and seemed content to take her time wandering across all the outstretched hands. Her legs felt a bit like pipecleaners but without the sharp bit in the middle. I actually kinda like tarantulas which is possibly weird as the one thing in the place you’d never get me to hold is the house spider in one of the tanks. Maybe if house spiders were furry and ambled around slowly instead of freaking out and sprinting all over the place I wouldn’t mind them so much.

The only slight disappointment of the day was that they’d got rid of the bubbling mud that I used to love as a child. But I got to hold some awesome creatures so I guess that’s better than staring at a pale brown pool of seething liquid anyway.

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  1. Pingback: Refurbishing my brain, one neurosis at a time | GCat's World of Stuff

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