If you like the idea of butterflies flying all around you, you'd love the Butterfly Convervatory in Niagara Falls. I was just there for the second time, I tried to take my daughter three years ago when we were home visiting thinking she'd love it, but she decided right after I paid for the tickets that she wanted to bypass this little pseudo-rainforest wonderland and go straight to the cafe. This year she actually came in despite an exaggerated aversion to 'mini beasts' (what they sweetly call insects in England, at least in primary school), she thinks they're either going to bite you or poop on you. But after a few minutes she was catching them on her finger and laughing from their tickles (which she probably imagined). Some like to land on you and stick there for a very long time while others are very elusive. You know of course it's usually the plainest ones that hang around and the most colourful and beautiful glide by repeatedly just to tease you before they flee to the depths of the foliage. However, one species is quite deceiving, it looks like a big brown moth when its wings are up, and then when laid down shades of vibrant blue are revealed (you can see it below in the boy's hands).
These lovelies are quite difficult to photograph but I was persistent, and perspiring - they keep it so humid in there!
So the deal with the header photo...I know, how rude. At first I saw them high up on a leaf and thought 'Wow, look how those two are positioned, and they're just staying like that!' They were among the most striking of the species represented and I couldn't believe I had time to get shots of two beautiful butterflies at the same time, in such an interesting mirror configuration. Then one moved a bit, and all of a sudden I felt like a total perv taking pictures. Imagine, doing that right out there in front of everyone, in front of children (I was actually the only one who noticed, no one else was looking up and they totally missed the show). But don't worry, I told on them as I was leaving. I lost my innocence that day.
And I'd just like to mention again (I said this in my first post on the conservatory three years ago and nothing has changed) that when you get dumped into the gift shop upon exiting the butterfly habitat, you see that they have all kinds of butterfly 'art' - with real dead butterflies! Is that not wrong? They even warn you not to buy butterfly products in the film they show beforehand. Now does that make any sense?
When I first came in, many were landing on the floor and just sitting there. It made me so nervous they were going to get stepped on that I almost had to leave. Most were seen and people were picking them up. Many of them didn't mind at all.
Photos © The Swelle Life