Last Thursday SCI-155 Global Environmental Earth Science visited tropical rainforests, a forest full of butterflies, a hacienda, and many other ecosystems. How did we do this while in Montreal? Well, we went to the Montreal Botanical Garden!
Our first stop when we got there was the Insectarium where we saw many cool (and terrifying) insects. Not only did they have many preserved specimens, but they had some live ones as well. Most notably, they have an open vine on the top floor where ants are freely roaming around. This is something that people normally aren’t able to see so seeing ants interact with each other and move about an open space was really cool. Next we moved into the greenhouses. This was a truly beautiful space. We entered in the middle and to either side the building had rooms filled with different kinds of plants from different environments. We walked through environments ranging from a tropical rain forest, a temperate forest, an Asian garden with bonsai trees, a hacienda in the desert, a room full of cacti and plants from arid regions, and even more impressively a room full of butterflies.
Let me just open this blog post in a very honest way – I am a huge baby when it comes to insects. They are really small but absolutely horrifying, they have skeletons on the outside of their bodies, and some have more legs than I have fingers which is the most horrifying thing in the world. Whenever I see a bug or have an unfortunate interaction with one, I’m paranoid for the next five minutes about what may be crawling on me that I’m unaware of. When I volunteered for this blog post, I figured I could give myself a reason to enjoy what otherwise would be a very neutral experience for me, but what I found is that I didn’t really need an excuse, the experience was quite interesting.
After our SCI 155 class departed from the metro station and arrived at the Insectarium, which was a much smaller building than I expected. I remember thinking that there wouldn’t be many bugs on display because of lack of space, but then I promptly remembered how small bugs are. Once we were inside, I saw the corny graphics on the wall of their stick bug mascot, there to inform us about the wonders of insectoid life. There was a large dome-like room with stairs descending down to the displays. The factoids on the wall were interesting with some good nuggets of information about what certain bugs eat, how they defend themselves, adaptations they may develop depending on their environment, but I’m a visual learner. The wall graphics weren’t nearly as interesting as the legions of mostly dead insects in glass cases, all staring at me with their wicked eyes and antennae.
After an unexpected heatwave that rivaled Florida, the weather finally cooled off enough to enjoy fully the outdoors. Without the boiling heat, a Friday trip to the Botanical Garden’s annual Garden of Lights was actually something to look forward to. While I’ve been to the famous Garden many times, I had never been there when the light festival was held. Needless to say, already a fan of the Garden, the event was something I anticipated.
The breeze was cool and the metro bearable as the group made their way from the academic center to the Garden with a noticeable mass of others. Many people streamed from the sidewalks and joined together on the walk to the gardens, and excitement that many felt could be shared by everyone.
By Nathaniel Crumlich In the heart of Montreal is a botanical oasis that one might not expect to see in any given major city, let alone one this far north. Of course, the Montreal Botanical Gardens and Insectarium are no mystery to those of us who have been living in the city for even this […]
By Hannah Cartmel For 23 years, Montreal’s Botanical Gardens have put on an annual light show during the months of September and October. The preparations for this highly anticipated event last all year round; once the team has decided on a theme they send their designs to China where, from December onwards, hundreds of lanterns […]
There are few things more terrible than a pop quiz, or rising college tuition, or — well there are more than a few things worse than those. One of them, at least to me, is insects. More specifically, voluntarily agreeing to go to a place that has insects (and plants, but those aren’t scary), to look at and examine them in the name of science. Continue reading →
We started our SCI 155 lab excursion on Friday morning by walking through the Olympic Park, which is interesting on its own because of how massive it is. I think that it would be really cool to try to get into one of these buildings just to see their internal structure. Continue reading →