April has arrived, and with it the first full month of spring. Dogwoods, red buds, and mountain laurel will soon fill the countryside with a flowery display complemented by an array of wildflowers and plants that will carpet the earth. Rising temperatures also bring back the graceful and colorful guests we adore – butterflies. Located about an hour from the Devonfield Inn is a butterfly conservatory where you can enjoy these delicate and colorful insects in abundance. Here are just 5 reasons to visit Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory in South Deerfield MA.
5 Reasons to Visit Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory
1. Butterflies add a unique touch to your visit to the Berkshires
Butterflies are fascinating to watch. The colorful patterns of their wings draw our eyes as they flutter around the garden setting. Visiting the Magic Wings gives you an opportunity to observe many of these delicate creatures up close and personal; some may even land on your shoulder.
2. Observing butterflies will enhance your appreciation for nature
About a third of all plants need to pollinate, and butterflies are essential pollinators. Without pollination, there is no fruit. Along with bees, butterflies play a significant role in pollination. Plus, adult butterflies rely on flower nectar for food. As you watch butterflies flying from flower to flower sipping nectar, something important is happening – pollination. Butterflies also play a significant role in the cycle of life. There are different stages in the life cycle of a butterfly, and at each step, it provides a food source for other animals in the food chain such as birds, lizards, frogs, and other insects.
3. You will learn the advantages of butterfly gardening
If you prefer to garden more naturally without pesticides or at least want to reduce their use, gardening for butterflies is the way to go. When cultivating and nurturing a garden with this mindset, you’ll notice an increase in wildlife – spiders, ladybugs, and dragonflies – all of which are beneficial. You’ll see nature taking care of nature. You can apply this type of gardening at home, even if your “garden” is on a deck or balcony. Here you’ll learn how to work with these beautiful creatures.
4. The educational value is significant
Learning new things often contributes to other areas of life. For example, when learning about butterflies, such as the stages of metamorphosis that a butterfly undergoes, going from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis and finally to a butterfly, can illustrate numerous aspects of the changes in our own lives. Contemplating what butterflies can symbolize can help us to think deeper and can affect our lives in positive ways.
5. Magic Wings is a place for recreation and entertainment
Taking time to relax is important. As you enjoy the beautiful gardens, the calming fountains, and the star attraction – butterflies – you’ll feel a renewed sense of calm. The calming effect of butterflies is powerful as you watch almost 4,000 exotic and domestic butterflies in an 8,000 square foot indoor viewing area. If a peaceful day is what you’re looking for, then this is the place to visit.
Interesting Facts about Butterflies
Butterfly wings are transparent.
Incredibly, butterflies without light would be difficult to see. The thousands of miniature scales that cover them cause light to reflect the dazzling array of colors you observe.
Close to 20,000 butterfly species populate the earth.
When visiting Magic Wings, you get to enjoy a sampling of what exists.
Butterflies use their feet to taste.
Taste receptors are on a butterfly’s feet. So, when a butterfly lands on your shoulder, it may be entertaining to fantasize that it’s being friendly. But actually, it’s just hungry.
A butterfly will live for only a few weeks.
For an adult butterfly, the average life span is three to four weeks. Its entire life cycle can be anywhere from two to eight months.
Butterflies live on a liquid diet.
They use their tube-like tongue called a proboscis, which works much like a straw. It’s necessary because they can’t chew. So, they feast on sweet nectar.
Butterfly wings help them against predators.
As delicate as they are, it’s a wonder that they can survive as long as they do. But natural ingenuity causes them to fold their wings to camouflage themselves or show their complete spectrum of colors and patterns that can scare away predators.
Butterflies have four wings, not two.
Close to the head are their fore wings, and the ones at the rear are hind wings. As you watch them in flight, all four wings are moved up and down in a figure-eight pattern and give the appearance of two wings.
Butterflies are technically blue-blooded.
They can feed and fly only when their internal body temperature is up to 30 degrees. When seen basking in the sun with wings open, it’s similar to pointing solar panels toward the light. Captured heat goes from the wings through veins and warms its body.
At the end of the day, return to your guest room at Devonfield Inn, where you can relax and reflect on your peaceful day at the butterfly conservatory. As you enjoy fresh fruit at breakfast or that delicious glass of wine, you can smile and thank the butterfly. The old saying is true, good things often come in small packages.