Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens

This past weekend, it was finally cool enough to go look at bugs.

This is not code language. The Wings of Fancy live butterfly and caterpillar exhibit has been going on in the Brookside Gardens' southern conservatory since April. I did not find out about it until about two weeks ago, and was immediately sad that it was already late May. Heat and humidity are not my friends, so setting foot inside a greenhouse in June weather did not sound like fun -- no matter how many butterflies were involved.

Fortunately, the heat broke and it was just cool enough for us to go fulfill my Snapchat-butterfly-crown-filter-only-actual dreams.

(Spoiler: I did not fulfill my Snapchat-butterfly-crown-filter-only-actual dreams. I did get a lot of neat pictures, though!)

I used the Florida Museum of Natural History's website to identify these guys, because I know absolutely nothing about butterflies other than that they retain their memories from before pupation (so their brains are still doing while their bodies are being melted down and rearranged because nature is messed up) and apparently taste terrible to lizards.

A malachite butterfly hanging upside down.
A malachite butterfly chilling upside-down. This one was my favorite -- I love the teal and brown.

Possibly a blue morpho butterfly
Possibly a blue morpho? Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get any pics of the interior of the wings. 
One of the cream spotted tigerwings -- these guys were all over!

brown butterfly, dryas julia
Julia! Their wings are a bright orange inside.
We weren't able to stay in the conservatory for very long, since it was getting toward the hottest part of the day, but it was well worth it. Afterward, we took a walk around the grounds, taking in the abundance of roses and intriguingly-shaped ornamental plants. I'd really like to go back later this year, probably once things begin to cool off a bit again. While we stuck mostly to the formal gardens this time around, I'd really like to explore the trail next time.

To avoid this being a gigantic photo dump, I'm going to limit myself to these pics. Check my insta for more, including a macro shot of a very cute (and very tolerant) little garden spider!

The exhibit runs until September 16th, and is only $8 a ticket (purchasable at the gift shop). I definitely recommend it, if you don't shy away from some heat and humidity. While the exhibit itself isn't very large, there's plenty to see and lots of gardens and hiking trails to enjoy afterward.


  1. Nice pics! It looks like a lovely place.

    1. Thanks, it really was! I'm excited to go back when the weather cools off some.