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!”
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.
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!
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?).
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.
The Conservatory was prepared with plenty of food for both!
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.
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.
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!
Tomorrow were heading over to the get a sneak peak at this weekends amazing Garden of Lights!!!!