Monday, January 18, 2010

Return to a Winter's Oasis


Another new day turns towards spring painting a skyscape of brilliant hues.

As our earth turns and tilts the winter sun's bright light washes pastels with gouaches of white. I would like to take you out of this cold snowy landscape . . .  back into the enchanting oasis of the Magic Wings Conservatory.

Let us follow Eva to see how the butterflies are raised.

There is a glass case that holds hundreds of chrysalises. Magic Wings grow their own host plants and tend to thousands of caterpillars daily. When the caters molt for the final time and become chrysalises, some are placed in this case for the visitors to observe. It is a great way for all to learn about the metamorphosis of a butterfly.



Cocoons too! A Luna Moth.

This Malachite butterfly is ready to get out . . . it is not often one can see the complete underside of a butterfly. Soon she will be flying free in the tropical paradise . . .

joining a 'Small Postman' Heliconius erato . . .

admiring Calliandra trees and Chenille plants . . .

flying beneath Guava fruit . . .

eyeing an Owl Butterfly Caligo eurilochus enjoying sweet juices of Papaya... also grown in the Conservatory.



Passing a group of mystery butterflies just hanging out . . .

she may light and take a sip from one of these salvia like flowers . . .

or maybe the lovely Malachite would prefer a cocktail of fast food like this Zebra Longwing Butterfly, Heliconius charitonius. I guess bright blue attracts butterflies!

Or maybe red will tempt the newly released Malachite to join the Zebra Longwing, other unknown (to this writer) Heliconius and a striking Tailed Jay, Graphium agamemnon.

There are many real blooms in all shades of colors to explore.

If I were a fresh new butterfly, I would like to fly around my new world a bit, to see all of it's inhabitants before settling down. I might be curious about these Japanese and Butterfly Koi fish.



Surely this brightly colored Australian Gouldian Finch, Chloebia gouldiae would catch my wide eye!

I would keep my distance from these sweet Chinese Button Quail too!

Of course I know I am not a butterfly and I must watch where I step in this magical conservatory for these little guys share the walkway. I know I cannot stay here to live out my life in excitement like . . .

Fireworks. Clerodendrum quadriloculare . . . or a lovely

. . . might it be a Postman, Heliconius melpomene? No . . . that will not do . . .  I am human . . . a New Englander and must step out of this wondrous world back into mid January, to a landscape coated in freshly fallen frigid snow! I shall long to return to the beauty of butterflies whispering past my face and the soothing sounds of falling water and exotic calls of quail. I do so thank the folks at 'Magic Wings' for creating such a diverse WARM paradise . . . for giving me an escape from the cold world I call home . . .

Though it is a cold and sometimes dreary time of year, there is no need to truly escape. It is safe and warm inside, where my imagination can metamorph and fly as a butterfly. There is nothing remotely horrid about my life unlike the millions of Haitians suffering now. I have donated to co-founder Dr. Paul Farmer's 'Partners in Health'   . . . they have been providing health care to the poor in Haiti for over twenty years and need our help now. To learn more about the incredible work of Dr. Paul Farmer you might like to read the gripping novel by Tracy Kidder 'Mountains Beyond Mountains'. You can go to 'STAND WITH HAITI' to donate. If anyone needs an oasis it is surely these tragic victims of Haiti, who have been burdened with more weight than anyone should have to carry . . .  for far too long now.




42 comments:

Barbarapc said...

We are indeed fortunate - the suffering in Haiti is beyond imagination. Thank you for your divine photos inside in the butterfly paradise and outside in the winter wonderland.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

I think every province and state ought to have a butterfly conservatory--how wonderful they are for lifting weary spirits in the bleak of winter. Just by proxy I feel better, looking at these. And that sky was fabulous!

leavesnbloom said...

Carol did you notice that the longer you stayed in the butterfly house the closer the butterflies would come to you? Fabulous snow pictures of your garden.

mark marino said...

thanks for all the great butterfly photos ! i would love to visit that display some day - mark

JP said...

okay, your butterfly posts make me want to go to the University conservatory tomorrow - I would love to smell some tropical plants and breathe some warm humid air! And, fantastic book and donation recommendation - it's hard to know where to give lately.

fairegarden said...

Hi Carol, butterfly houses are the most inspiring of human inventions, but most especially in the winter. A sweet respite from the white landscape, even from those beautiful skies. Every butterfly house I have ever visited had those little quail too. They are too dear. :-)
Frances

FlowerLady said...

Wow what a wonderful post. Your sunset was beautiful and I loved all of the butterfly pics. It's hard to believe that you left that tropical oasis just by walking through a door into a winter wonderland.

FlowerLady

Les said...

Those cocktails are a clever idea. Your thoughts on the tradgedy in Haiti are very eloquent. Thank you for the links.

sweet bay said...

Gorgeous pictures Carol -- the jewel-like colors of the butterflies, birds, fish and flowers are just beautiful. I think that lovely blue flower is some kind of lobelia, and the brown butterflies look like they may be Queen Butterflies. I love the picture of the snow outside your house... it looks very cold but also so beautiful.

Annie in Austin said...

What a wonderful place, Carol of Flower Hill Farm - especially in January!
There are many organizations trying to help, but it's amazing how fast the word went around about Partners in Health. We also found the organization via Tracy Kidder, and it was pretty cool to hear Meryl Streep telling people about them during her acceptance speech at last night's Golden Globes.

Oh those zebra longwings! They show up here in Austin on rare occasions.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Phillip said...

Beautiful photos! We have a butterfly conservatory about an hour's drive from us.

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

It looks like a simply magical place, and then there is the wake up call of the winter photo. But all are good in their own way.

Jen

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I've enjoyed catching up on your last couple of posts. I'd love to see this Conservatory. What an amazing variety they have there.

Grace Peterson said...

Hi Carol~~ You've got an amazing array of photos here. I love the Australian Finch. The butterflies are just amazing and the firecracker flowers, a feast for the eyes. Ditto for your sky photos too.

Darla said...

What a wonderful walk through a warmer more colorful place. We raised a lot of monarchs last year, witnessing the entire process was a family affair. Love all of these photos...

Bangchik said...

Really thriving!!.... I enjoy viewing the butterflies, their many species.... ~bangchik

Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

Carol, there is a butterfly house in Niagara Falls, as well. It is wonderful to go in on a snowy day, and just breath in the air. You really do not want to come outside.
All your pictures are amazing, but that first one, breath taking!

Roses and Lilacs said...

I could remain in that magic butterfly garden all winter. The snow photo brought me back to reality with a jolt:) Thank you so much for taking us with you on your visit.
Marnie

Amy said...

That would be a wonderful place to visit and your photos are so pretty! I love the blue against the Zebra Longwing. Thanks for sharing your visit. -Amy

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Wow Carol, what a beautiful place. I would love to visit one like that.What gorgeous butter flies and pictures! One could get lost in there among all of the tropical plants and critters. What a pleasant escape from the reality that was outdoors. LOL! Some of those chrysalises are beautiful too. Almost metallic. I just never knew. Thank you so much for this posting.
Lona

Eva said...

Thank you, Carol, for praising what is good and for reminding me that there is always work to be done. Your recommendation of Partners in Health and Tracy Kidder's book is appreciated. Sometimes it is difficult to know where to begin. And in this case, contributing with consciousness is important.

I am grateful for this record of our memorable day together. I remember seeing the Fireworks plant, but somehow your focused image allows me to see it with a new awareness. The butterfly's life cycle has become a metaphor that is worthy of a reminder. Especially in the darkest of times.

Noelle said...

I still think the life cycle of the butterfly is just so fascinating. Your photos are so beautiful (as always). I bought my daughter a butterfly kit for Christmas where you can raise your own butterflies with caterpillars that will arrive in the mail. She is so excited for us to get started.

ruma2008 said...

It is wonderful new day.
I can rarely come across such colors.
And the scale of the view is very wide.


Butterflies are only rare kinds for me.
It is colors to give warmth in severe cold.

Jean said...

Those chrysalises are so amazing! Thank you for taking me on this tour.

And so true for Haiti. Thank you for the links.

Lucy Corrander said...

Can't think of anything to say which would match this post or the work which goes into creating it.

Lucy

Lillebeth said...

Truly wonderful! A place to enjoy for a while and then be able to endure the rest of the winter. Your heaven(ly) pictures are always so beautiful, Carol. Is New England always like that? A question: is Massachusetts and New England the same thing? Love and kram!

Liisa said...

Carol,
The Luna Moth is just beautiful, so much detail. How amazing to witness the magical transformation and watch these butterflies emerge from the chrysalises.
Each day I listen to news of Haiti with a heavy heart, for I cannot fathom such destruction and sadness.

Daphne said...

Beautiful photos. I love butterfly houses, but I haven't been in one in years. I only seem to visit them when traveling. I'm sure there is one close to me.

Autumn Belle said...

I have enjoyed the visit too. Such splendid pictures of the butterflies, sky views and winter snow.

NatureFootstep said...

an extra ordinary post. Thanks for all that lovelyphotos of butterflies and how they develop. :)

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Going to the butterfly house in the middle of winter is magical, I try to go as often as possible, lovely photos.

Kate said...

Hi, Carol;
I was over here yesterday, enjoying a brief work escape with your pretty butterflies. Phone rang and dragged me back to reality, without leaving a comment. But here I am again.... These are all so lovely. Thanks for sharing. :)

Meredith said...

I read this earlier, but didn't have time to comment. I must say, on re-viewing, your photos are so lovely... and I want some Chinese button quail in my garden, please. They are so sweet!

Crafty Gardener said...

How wonderful it would be to wander in the conservatory.

Ruben said...

Thank you for taking me on a fantastic and interesting tour in the Magic Wing conservatory! What an escape from your, a little colder, but as beautiful gardens. I gather you enjoyed your stay, stopping now and then to take wonderful photos!
Glad to hear you liked the Digitalis. I read from the comments that quite a few find them dull. Have a nice day! /Ruben

Joanne said...

Carol Waw what else can I say about such lovely skies. I to love to visit such hot houses full of Butterfies but this looks especially good. The one nearest to us was has now moved many miles away and although they do occassionally release them at Wisley RHS in there Glass house they do not bread them there.

Yes the snow looks good from indoors.

Thank you also for sharing your concerns over the people of Haiti may their help be ongoing.

Melissa said...

Carol, these photos are beautiful. I have sent a link on to a friend who specializes in photographing butterflies. Your farm is spectacular! I look forward to checking in periodically.

joey said...

Your butterfly photos are truly amazing, Carol. Aren't they the most fabulous creatures!

Randi said...

What an interesting post and gorgeous photos! Your garden looks wonderful even dressed in white thick layers. Thank you Carol, for taking me into this magic conservatory - I love butterflies! I wish I could stay there until spring arrive....

Commonweeder said...

I've passed this place a thousand times and never been tempted until I read your postings. I'll bring my camera too.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Wonderful post, Carol! I always enjoy your photography. I'm jealous of your winter. No snow for us.

NellJean said...

Lovely, lovely post. I have a photo of a Zebra Longwing on my bedroom wall. They're rarely seen in the wild around here any more despite ample hosts.

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