Part IV: Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens!

 
The Paper Kite Butterfly which the Brookside Gardens guide states is native to the Philippines to Borneo and Tawain.  Photo © Britt Conley

The 6" Paper Kite Butterfly which the Brookside Gardens' guide states is native to the Philippines to Borneo and Tawain. Photo © Britt Conley

When my friend Robbie White told me to go see the Butterfly Exhibit at Brookside Gardens because it was great and people line up just to get in, I thought well, maybe… someday. I figured, of course he thinks that, after all he’s one of their volunteers. Well now that I’ve been to Brookside and to it’s Butterfly exhibit “Wings of Fancy”… twice…in the same month… I can honestly say, “Robbie White you are a wise man!”

The famed Monarch Butterfly is native to Canada, South America, Australia and the Pacific Islands according to the Brookside Gardens' guide book.  Photo © Britt Conley

The famed Monarch Butterfly is native to Canada, South America, Australia and the Pacific Islands according to the Brookside Gardens' guide book. Photo © Britt Conley

There were indeed people lined up to see the Butterflies and I was one of them. And frankly, it was Great! I had to go back just to take my husband.

There are so many Butterflies that you have to watch your every step just to make sure you don’t accidentally step on one.  Even more fun is that they will find you and attach themselves whether you know it or not! If your not careful they’ll even hitch a ride home in your car which is why they inspect you and your bags when it’s time to leave.

This Mournful Owl just latched onto to this guy! Photo © Britt Conley

This 5.5" Mournful Owl just latched onto to this guy! Photo © Britt Conley

There are hundreds of butterflies filling the conservatory.   When you arrive you can get a rather large folded guide pamphlet to carry about to help with identification, however, there are simply too many butterflies around to deal with the guide easily.  But boy what fun to get home and break it out to compare with our photos!

This Browntip Butterfly is native from Mexico to Brazil and Peru and grows to 3.25" according to Brookside Gardens' guide book.  Photo © Britt Conley

This Browntip Butterfly is native from Mexico to Brazil and Peru and grows to 3.25" according to Brookside Gardens' guide book. Photo © Britt Conley

I learned a lot about butterflies before even getting in the exhibit. Just before the main event everyone walks through a small transitional room where we see the plants that help illustrate the life cycle of the Butterfly. I was impressed and learned a lot. There was even a plant that is the only plant a particular catepillar can eat, and there he was eating it’s leaves as we watched.

I’ve forgotten the name of this plant but I do have a photograph – seen below. (I’ll be accepting any help with the plant identification – Robbie?).

A special plant to one variety of Caterpillar. Photo © Britt Conley

A special plant to one variety of Caterpillar. Photo © Britt Conley

This Caterpillar was happily munching away on another plant. Photo © Britt Conley

This Caterpillar was happily munching away on another plant. Photo © Britt Conley

These two were fluttering about one another in a dance.  Photo © Britt Conley

These two were fluttering about one another in a dance. Photo © Britt Conley

This Blue Tiger chose a flower instead.  Photo © Britt Conley

This Blue Tiger chose a flower instead. Photo © Britt Conley

Once we got in the ooooooooooooooooooos and aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhs were non stop. The laughter from those who had a new butterfly friend stuck happily on their heads was great.

So what did we learn about Butterflies? Well there are two types of Butterflies, those who eat either the nectar from flowers such as Marigolds, Camilias, Zinneas etc. or the other kind which prefers eating rotting fruit like the Mournful Owl.

All three daily meals are included here! Photo © Britt Conley

All three daily meals are included here! Photo © Britt Conley

The Conservatory was prepared with plenty of food for both!

The Brookside Gardens' guide book points out the Golden Halcion is native to Mexico to the Peruvian Amazon and grows to 3.75".  Photo © Britt Conley

The Brookside Gardens' guide book points out the Golden Halcion is native to Mexico to the Peruvian Amazon and grows to 3.75". Photo © Britt Conley

More than 50,000 people came to see Wing’s of Fancy last year and I can see why. It’s such an intimate look at the Butterfly population and behaviors. Seeing so many in one room and watching them dance about each other or sit quietly on a leaf is just a joy.

The Zebra Longwing grows to 3.5 " and is native throughout the Americas and West Indies according to the Brookside Gardens' guide.  Photo © Britt Conley

The Zebra Longwing grows to 3.5 " and is native throughout the Americas and West Indies according to the Brookside Gardens' guide. Photo © Britt Conley

I’ll be back for Wing’s of Fancy next year and I’ll be bringing a newcomer. Brookside Gardens is without a doubt a place you’ll want to share.

This 2.75" Disturbed Tigerwing and can be found from Mexico to the Amazon according to the Brookside Gardens' guide Book.  Photo © Britt Conley

This 2.75" Disturbed Tigerwing and can be found from Mexico to the Amazon according to the Brookside Gardens' guide Book. Photo © Britt Conley

Wings of Fancy takes place between May and September. There is a “Butterfly Hotline” you can call for more information:
1 (301) 962-1453 and of course you van visit http://www.montgomeryparks.org/brookside/wings_of_fancy.shtm for a great video!

Lastly this lovely Sara Longwing is found between Mexico and the Amazon Basin according the Brookside Gardens guide.

Lastly this lovely Sara Longwing is found between Mexico and the Amazon Basin according the Brookside Gardens guide. Photo © Britt Conley

Tomorrow were heading over to the get a sneak peak at this weekends amazing Garden of Lights!!!!

‘Til Tomorrow…

Britt

Related posts:

  1. Part V: Brookside Gardens’ Garden of Lights!
  2. Part III: The Rose Garden at Brookside Gardens.
  3. Part I: Brookside Gardens: An Overview
  4. Part VI: Some of the Flowers and Garden areas at Brookside Gardens.
  5. Part VII: The Japanese Style Garden at Brookside Gardens.

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2 Comments

 
  1. Lyn Chambers
    2014-04-12
    22:58:35

    Hi Britt, I loved your article which I came across while researching for an assignment I am doing at QUT. I would like to include your picture of the 6" Paper Kite Butterfly in my assignment if you would allow it. It is for a presentation to my Geography class on Borneo and Palm Oil production. Lyn Chambers

     
  2. Britt
    2014-04-15
    09:58:07

    Hello, yes Lyn, :) Sorry it's taken so long to get back. I've been off the site and am just now getting gearing up to get back online :)

     
 

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