Each Spring, Meijer Gardens imports thousands of butterflies to their conservatory for their Butterflies are Blooming exhibit. It's an impressive display that attracts hundreds of visitors daily. The glass-walled conservatory is huge-- 5 stories high-- and packed with tropical plants, from orchids to full-grown palm trees. Thousands of brightly-colored butterflies fly through the foliage. The butterflies arrive as chrysalises and, if you are patient, you can watch some emerge from their cases.
I try to see the exhibit every year. The hot, humid greenhouse can be a shock coming from the cold outside air, so it's smart to dress in layers. It's a very popular event, so, even on weekdays, it's fairly crowded. While it's not an opportunity for solitary contemplation of nature, the spectacle is worth it.
Butterflies are Blooming: March 1 - April 30, 2013
I teach economics at Kalamazoo College. My wife is also an economist. We were on sabbatical in Europe for the 2014-15 academic year. (Salamanca, Spain, followed by Oxford, UK.) We were in Uruguay for the 2006-7 academic year.