I promised to write more about our visit to the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. It took me a couple of days to get my thoughts (and photos) together. I want to do justice to the wonder of this place.
I have been to butterfly rooms or houses before, and I enjoyed them. I was unprepared, however, for the absolute splendor of this particular Butterfly exhibit. After we paid our admission fee, we were directed to a small room to watch a short movie about butterflies and conservation and the rules of the exhibit. My biggest fear was that I would unintentionally harm a butterfly. I am so clumsy that this was a possibility. Luckily, it did not happen.
As soon as we entered the Conservatory itself, I felt breathless, as if I had entered into an enchantment. Gorgeous plants and flowers were everywhere. The air was heavy with fragrance. And the butterflies. The butterflies were flitting about everywhere. Millions? Maybe not, but certainly thousands and thousands. At first it was hard to comprehend what I was seeing. I was trying to see individual butterflies, but it was all a blur of color and movement. I did not move past the entryway for several minutes. A whole busload of people entered, paused, and moved past me. Still, I stood in wonder. Finally, I took out my camera and began to shoot.
I did prepare for this visit by purchasing a new, bigger memory card. I felt confident that I could shoot many, many pictures without running out of space – a luxury I have never had before. I also made certain that my battery was fully charged before we left home. I was ready to photograph. I had a hard time starting, because my eye kept being drawn to the moving butterflies. Of course, I could not shoot those with a still camera. Every time I would find and narrow in on a resting butterfly, it would move. I began to feel a bit worried that I would not be able to take any good photos. Then, John pointed out an orange butterfly resting on a leaf. It stayed and let me take a few shots.
After that, I relaxed and began to have fun with the place and the photography. I just kept shooting and shooting, except when I was standing and staring. There was one particularly elusive butterfly. It was a gorgeous blue when it was flying, but every time it landed it immediately closed up and the blue disappeared. I stood with my camera fixed on a closed blue butterfly for many minutes before it rewarded my patience by opening
Other butterflies were more accommodating, posing for me endlessly. Orange:
I love that my camera allows me to see this little guy’s head and even his little face:
As always, a lot of my shots were no good. Because I took so many, I did manage to get several that I thought were worthy of editing and posting.
There was a display window, through which we saw butterflies emerging
In several locations throughout the Conservatory, we saw butterflies feasting on fruit.
I had a couple of thoughts while I was walking through the Conservatory. First, the Garden of Eden might have looked something like this – the lushness, the beauty, the abundance. Second, I can only imagine how wonderful it would be to visit the Butterfly Conservatory when the winter blues hit. It would be very soothing, in the middle of the snow and ice, to see sights like this:
After winding our way up and down the paths and through the jungle of the Conservatory, we were finally ready to leave. I felt enriched and happy and peaceful. I am glad we went and I look forward to visiting again. Meanwhile, I have lots of photos to look at and remember the day.