Okay okay, so a real life mid-winter escape to the tropics might not be on the cards right now, but the next best thing? A trip to see the butterflies in Wisley’s glasshouse, of course!
We finally got round to visiting the other day, after weeks and weeks of making plans to go and then cancelling for one reason or another. I’d heard great things about Wisley’s butterfly exhibition, so much so that I thought it couldn’t possibly live up to expectation. In truth though, it not only lived up to but totally surpassed expectation on a hundred levels! Let me tell you more…Before heading into the glasshouse, we stopped to warm up with a little lunch and coffee. The food at Wisley, both times I’ve been, has been so great! It’s always so fresh and tasty and seasonal, which is pretty rare to find at a tourist-y sort of place don’t you think? Also, we ate baked potatoes, and baked potatoes are good for the soul especially on winter days where you definitely didn’t wear enough layers. Speaking of clothes, for just a moment- is anyone else at that stage of winter where you pretty much just wear the same things over and over, because you’ve run out of inspiration for cold weather dressing? Well, I totally am! The light dresses and little skirts I picked up for spring a couple of weeks ago are calling my name…
^^ Baked potato with chilli & sour cream! So tasty, I even ate the skin. Unheard of! ^^
After lunch had been devoured, we made our way through the chill over to the glasshouse. The butterflies are inside a central wing of the building, where the temperature is tropical and the air is thick with humidity. I’d thought perhaps it might be hard to spot the butterflies, but in actual fact there are so many of them, it’s hard to know where to look next! I spent the whole time wandering around in total awe- after we’d got home my Mum sent me over a couple of photos she snapped of me without me realising, and my jaw really truly was dropped the entire time! I’ve not included them in the post, of course, because who wants to see that? ;)
Now, are you ready to see a hundred and one photos of butterflies?
^^ Tree Nymph butterfly! This one was my favourite. It flew with such slow beats of its wings, and the patterning on it was to die for. Not so colourful and flashy as many others we saw, but I sort of loved it most for that reason. ^^
^^ Asian Swallowtail butterfly. ^^
^^ Blue Morpho butterfly (These ones all seemed happiest resting along the edges of the glasshouse. The colour of their wings is just incredible, don’t you think?) ^^
^^ A Glasswing butterfly centre, and a Malachite on the right. The Glasswing butterflies were my Mum’s favourite- you can only see the flashes of colour on the tips of their wings when they fly, so they sort of seem like little ghosts. Total magic! ^^
^^ Scarlet Peacock butterfly ^^
This little guy above (an Owl butterfly) took a shine to Mum, and settled down on her arm for a good five minutes! It was such a treat to get to study him so close up, and appreciate the little speckles in his eyes and the markings on his wings.
^^ A Common Lime butterfly feasting on some pretty ripe banana! The little fruit stations dotted around the glasshouse made for amazing up-close viewing. ^^
^^ Another Owl, all opened up. These ones seem so peaceful, and made the easiest subjects to photograph! ^^
This final photo is my favourite of the day, I think. I just can’t tell you what an amazing experience the exhibition was- if you’re in the area, it’s well worth a visit! It runs until the 8th March, and entry to the exhibition is included in a standard RHS Wisley ticket price. I can’t recommend it highly enough!