Off to See the Flutterbys At the Victoria Butterfly Gardens

hibiscus

Near the end of May, our son Paul, along with his lovely wife Olya, and our one and only grandchild, Andrew, flew into our little town for a short visit, very short. It was a whirlwind visit but fun. We built a sand castle at the beach with Andrew. We followed Andrew around like the doting grandparents that we are, as he petted goats and tried to catch renegade chickens at the petting zoo at Beacon Hill Park. All of this had to fit in around nap times and supper get togethers with the rest of the family. On the way to the airport to go home again, they decided to squeeze in one last thing, one last fun experience for Andrew. And it was a good one too!

The Victoria Butterfly Gardens had always been on our “to do ” list but we’d never gotten around to it. Paul and Olya had been before and couldn’t wait to show Andrew. It was fun watching a two year old react to butterflies fluttering around him. ¬†We thoroughly enjoyed every second. But we had to hurry through, checking watches for the time, you have to get to airports so early nowadays, what with all the security checks . So, after saying sad goodbyes and lots of kisses for Andrew, we saw them off back home.

Well, we thought, might as well go back to the Butterfly Gardens since it was on the way home for us anyway. Luckily, they do stamp your hand at the entry and you can go back and enjoy for the rest of day. So back we went to enjoy a more leisurely visit to the gardens. If you don’t know it, it’s on the way to Butchart Gardens. Can’t miss it.

The first thing that hits you as you go into the gardens is the warm moist air. It’s a lovely tropical feeling and my sinuses loved it! The Hibiscus at the top of this post is just one of the gorgeous flowers in this little jungle, alive with sound of parrots and falling water.

Right at the entrance in a glassed in enclosure, is where Butterflies of all kinds come out of their cocoons, unfurling their wings and drying before being set free to fly.
This Zebra butterfly really caught my eye, so much like a batik. As an artist I really have to bow to Mother Nature. She always gets it right!

zebra-bttrfly

In a box in the entry we found what may have been a Monarch getting ready for flight. At the time I thought it was one butterfly with an orange pattern on one side and a blue green pattern on the top side as camoflage. Not really sure.

Maybe monarch, maybe not

You do get a sheet with pics of the butterflies so you can identify them. The list we had counted over 33 types. But I’m just giving you a few highlights. This is, after checking with my Butterfly identifier list, is a Golden Helicon. Such a lovely name too. Hope I got that right.

golden-helicon

On our way around the path we were approached by a little bird who insisted on pecking at our shoes and the bottoms of our jeans. He really liked Bill. Not remembering what he’s actually called, I’ve decided to call him the Peruvian Foot Pecker. He is apparently from Peru so that part’s right.

peruvian-foot-pecker

Next, I got lucky with this shot of two White Tree Nymphs.

white-tree-nymph

Perched on a cocoon was a huge moth, aptly named the Giant Atlas Moth. The sign said that he took over three years in the cocoon to morph into this gorgeous Moth only to live about five days. Now that’s just not right! What a rip off for the moth!

giant-atlas-moth

There’s so much more to see. If you go, prepare to spend some time. There is a waterfall, a pond and I’ve saved the silliest for last. The Flamingoes. This one stood squawking, with it’s neck straight, not a very appealing sounding squawk either . You must agree that he looks much more elegant and graceful in the next pose.

flamingo

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