My Inner Tacky Butterfly Child, or How I Learned to Flutter

I have to admit the Magic Wings is a place I was tricked into going to the first time.  A friend, knowing I had been feeling down, said she was taking me for a “Surprise”.  She pulled up in front of “Magic Wings” a large greenhouse style complex that features butterflies.   There were busloads of seniors coming for the “butterfly experience”, and a few school groups. I was worried this place was going to make me feel even worse.  I hate big groups.

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Still, I went in and was even more uneasy when I saw the over abundance of cheesy butterfly decor.  There is an entire gift shop full of nothing but butterfly gifts.  Playing cards, t shirts, stickers, jewelry and kites….all featuring butterflies.  This I felt was going to be very bad indeed.

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Then I went into the main greenhouse area with the butterflies.  I didn’t notice the cheesy harp music playing softly.  I didn’t notice the grandmothers and school children.  All I noticed was the butterflies.  They were  like something drawn in a Disney film. The butterflies were of all shapes and sizes gliding  around.  They were every color from vibrant blue to drab brown, and they all were moving in that peculiar slow motion barely flying motion best described as a “flutter”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnp4PvPDw-A

When you first walk in,  you also feel yourself start to move in a soft flutter.  Things slow down, as you just look.  It takes a bit to adjust.  Even though I’ve been many times since, it’s a bit unsettling at first.

After you slow down and just give in to simply the joy of “taking it all in”, a sense of peace wells up and stays with you.  You fall into a gentle state of awe. Smiles come almost unaware to the faces of everyone there, as they see butterflies, small button quail running around the floor, and the beauty of the flowers and bushes the butterflies feed on.

There are fish also

There are fish also

Sadly, some young children, including my daughter’s friend Tessa, can’t handle the butterflies.  I’ve never been and not seen at least one child have a complete breakdown.  It’s the silence of the butterflies.  Bees buzz, but the butterflies seem to delight in landing on a child having hysterics.  I had to take Tessa out and wait with her while my daughter enjoyed some time with the butterflies.  I’m not belittling these children, these are a lot of flying insects and even adults are disconcerted for a bit.

The blue ones are quite dull with their wings closed, but open to this iridescent color.

The blue ones are quite dull with their wings closed, but open to this iridescent color.

Once  you adjust you begin to think “well let’s see if I can take a few photographs?”  It is a delight to not have to chase the stray butterfly in your garden with your camera, and just snap away at Magic Wings.  If you can’t get a good shot of a butterfly, you’re probably my mom (the worst photographer in the world).

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I have a very basic simple Canon camera. It fits easily in my purse. If I can get shots this good, anyone with an expensive camera should be able to do even better.

I won’t say I’m such a fan that I pushed my daughter to get married there (she didn’t), but people do get married at Magic Wings.  There are gazebos and benches all around for just sitting and enjoying what’s going on around you.  Magic Wings isn’t rushed like other butterfly places where you are expected to keep moving along.  You can spend all day there if you like, or stop and eat lunch at the cafeteria and come back in.

After being in the Magic Wings for a bit, it gets rather warm.  That’s because it’s HUMID.  The butterflies like it and the plants the butterflies like also like it. This means, get to Magic Wings early before it gets too warm, or go as I recently did on a cooler rainy day.  You also avoid the tour buses and school groups.  If you have a young child, it’s the perfect birthday venue.  There is a room where you can have cake and such, without butterflies.  My only recommendation, take along an extra parent to sit with the one child that will inevitably freak out about the butterflies.

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Alright, it’s not really called NINJA BUTTERFLY, but it should be!

Meanwhile I was happy to finally get film of my favorite of all the butterflies the NINJA BUTTERFLY.  Yes, it has another name, but my friend Natalie and I decided to rename it the NINJA BUTTERFLY.

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NINJA BUTTERFLY!!!

I have to admit, I’m a fan of Magic Wings.  I even buy butterfly gifts, including plants that attract butterflies to plant in my own garden.  The best part is I found the butterfly plants also seem to attract hummingbirds.

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There is a room with cool bugs (like giant cockroaches) and lizards of different types.

Sometimes you have to put aside your inner “I am too sophisticated for THIS” and give in to your inner tacky child.  My inner unsophisticated self always has a wonderful time once given permission to come out an play.

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You have to be careful, I didn’t step on this beauty. For some reason this butterfly wanted to check out my shoe.



Categories: Travel

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3 replies

  1. Ranga Yogeshwar, after trying (and failing, by the way) to climb a wall like a gecko with suction apparatus, examines how geckos do it with fine hairs (1/500 the thickness of a human hair) and van der Waals force: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeKXZ-RrM1Y

  2. There is a butterfly room at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, and it is much the same thing (though sounds like it is smaller). Our biggest challenge there is that for some reason the butterflies like to land on and taste my daughter, and the docents have chided us. Apparently, tasty human skin cells are bad for butterflies, so you’re supposed to discourage them from sampling.

    Does this place have a ‘checker’ with a feather duster to whisk any landed inhabitants off you before you leave?

    • no, but the life of a butterfly is quite brief! They let the butterflies land on people. This is a “for profit” place, and is quite large. You can spend all day there really. There are also lizards, bugs, parrots, gazebos, pathways, and TONS of butterflies. They raise them and set them free, and there are people that patrol and pick up the dead ones (it’s interesting to see the tattered butterflies). They will suggest gentle blowing if you want a butterfly to leave. One thing is that mentally disabled and the quite old often react quite badly to butterflies landing on them. One of the workers told me they discourage groups of seniors (especially if some have dementia) from coming as they can become quite agitated.

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