Arthur Dellea is a freelance PC expert who enjoys adventures with his wife and children, playing drums at church, and investigative writing.
The Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory
Since our family had been pent up inside for so long during COVID, one of the things we definitely wanted to do was to take the kids to see butterflies. The Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens in South Deerfield, Massachusetts, consists of an 18,400 square-foot facility that includes an 8,000 square foot glass conservatory filled with butterflies, moths, and tropical vegetation.
From the main entrance, we entered the plant-filled atrium. On the left, you see the Magic Wings Gift Shop and on the right is a food court that leads to the Art Gallery Cafe and restrooms. The usual entrance is straight ahead; however, on this trip, everyone entered through the gift shop after paying the admission fees.
Interesting Exhibits and Displays
The first room is the exhibits and display area, where various exhibits show the history and evolution of butterflies as well as a variety of frogs, lizards, beetles, and other insects. All of us enjoyed finding the multi-colored frogs in their miniature environments, but the most interesting insects we saw were leaf insects.
They were completely camouflaged and were shaped just like the leaves on the branches they were eating. In fact, our kids had a hard time spotting them, and it even took my wife a moment to see one that I pointed out as it was slowly chewing up a leaf.
Inside the Conservatory
The conservatory is accessible through the double doors. 3,000 butterflies of all different colors, sizes, forms, and types dance along inside this incredibly magnificent structure. The conservatory is perpetually heated to a tropical-like 80 degrees by the sun shining through the glass walls.
Brightly colored Japanese koi rise to the surface of the heart-shaped pond in the conservatory's middle to welcome you. An atmosphere of calm and serenity is produced by the sound of the waterfall, soft music, and hundreds of butterflies flying freely through the air. Park seats are located alongside the walks, conveniently located so you may sit down and unwind.
A Relaxing, Wonderous Atmosphere
Some of the butterflies were content with sitting and resting or with feeding on the flora and various butterfly feeders. All the while, other species were very busy and continually following the air currents that followed the walking paths.
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Small flightless birds ran around our feet and through the vegetation on the perimeter, affectionately named "small chickens" by my kids. We also spotted a parrot and some other small birds that looked like finches, as well as a few more lizards in their enclosures. In fact, my daughter befriended a large lizard that looked like he wanted to come out of the case to greet her.
Why is a Butterfly Conservatory Important?
The best way to protect butterfly species is to learn about them. Butterflies are fantastic for gardens because they are drawn to vivid flowers and require nectar to survive. Their bodies gather pollen as a result and transport it to other plants. Fruits, vegetables, and flowers can generate more seeds because of this.
For most plants to reproduce, pollinators like butterflies are essential. Higher up in the food chain, the environment may be impacted if butterfly populations decline or vanish entirely. In 2012, researchers examined 19 years of data that revealed significant changes in butterfly populations in Massachusetts as a result of climate warming.
For instance, butterfly species with range centers north of Boston experienced dramatic reductions, whereas those with range centers south of Boston are some of the state's fastest-growing species.
Be Prepared for Awe and Wonder
If you like butterflies, this place is for you! This place is so much fun, and has so much to see and do; what an amazing time we had! Butterflies are everywhere, they have some really cool insects and amphibians, some tortoises, a number of adorable button quail, and the reptiles and animals are just as interesting as the butterflies.
The Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens are at 281 Greenfield Road (Routes 5 & 10) in South Deerfield, Massachusetts.
Visit the Magic Wings website or call (413) 665-2805 for more information. As of August 2022, the prices of admission are as follows:
- Adults, $16.00
- Seniors age 62+, $14.00 ($12.50 on Wednesdays)
- Students up through age 22 (with valid student ID), $10.00
- Children age 3-17, $10.00. Under age 3, Free
The conservatory is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed only on Mondays.
This is a must-stop if you're in the area; you will not be disappointed!
© 2022 Arthur Dellea