Last of Wings of Fancy 2019

Brookside Gardens’ Wings of Fancy exhibit ended last Sunday for this year. I volunteered on the last morning….enjoyed some quiet times during the shift to savor the butterflies. When I checked my pictures – I realized that I tend to take my favorite butterflies the most often. The paper kites – because of their size and that it’s easy to see that the forewings and hindwings move independently.

The malachites. I like the creamy green of the underside of the wings the best. They remind me of jade.

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The blue morphos – the favorite of many people – because their blue is structural and changes with the way the light is shining on the wings….and that even the underside and body have interesting color and markings.

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The monarchs because I am concerned by the decline in their numbers.

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And finally – the owls. They have striped eyes…really do have eye spots that make them look like an owl when they fly, and on the other end of the wing (the upper part of the forewing) it looks like a small snake!

I’m already planning to volunteer at next year’s exhibit!

Brookside Gardens Wings of Fancy – April 2019


The Wings of Fancy live Butterfly Exhibit at Brookside Gardens opened in April. I am volunteering there again this season and my first shifts were toward the end of the month.

The Wings of Fancy live Butterfly Exhibit at Brookside Gardens opened in April. I am volunteering there again this season and my first shifts were toward the end of the month.

On the first morning there was a little rain as I arrived, and the outdoor temperature was cool. The sun came out and it warmed up a little as the day went on. The heaters were on in the conservatory to make a comfortable environment for the butterflies. I went in to do some photography before the exhibit opened for the day. The golden-edged owl is new this year and it tends to open and show its colors more than some of the other owls.

The Julia Longwing is around this year. There were a lot emerging from chrysalis during my 1st shift.

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The White Peacock had a lot emerging my second shift and I had groups of pre-schoolers observing! They were very excited and full of questions.

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The Malachites are available from two vendors this year – one in US which means that the chrysalises from that vendor can be in the emergence case in the exhibit.

The zebra longwings are always striking.

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And there are lots of other species too.

The big favorite of most visitors is the Blue Morpho. I like it for more than the metallic blue. The markings around the edges and ‘eye’ spots are interesting too. The orange color is supporting too.

The second day, I didn’t go in early or take my better camera - I still got two decent pictures with my cell phone. It was a little cool, so the butterflies were sitting around more…always good to go at 10 (when the exhibit opens) while it’s still cool!

Owl Butterfly Eggs

Last weekend, I took a few minutes to photograph the eggs of the owl butterfly in Brookside Gardens’ Wings of Fancy exhibit. I got as close as I could to the canna leaf where they were located and then clipped out the part of the picture to see them even better. The eggs quite small – about the size of the head of a straight pin – and look smooth to the eye. With the magnification of the enlarged picture it is easy to see that they:

  • Are ribbed
  • That they change as they develop with the white one being one that is probably not going develop. The others probably have a tiny caterpillar developing. Do you see the light brown C shape in the third egg from the left? Looks like a developing caterpillar!

One of the joys of volunteering at the Wings of Fancy exhibit is being there frequently enough to see the progression of butterfly development…and occasionally capturing some of it with my camera.