My dad is up visiting with me this week. And yes, he is also big into exploring. So we decided to head out to western MA. We visited two locations, but the second will be left up to another blog post.
Our first stop was to Magic Wings in South Deerfield. I while ago someone had mentioned it to me as the go to place to take photos of butterflies. I had always wanted to go, but had just never made it there. From what I could tell from their website I knew that I'd probably like it. I really like taking photos of butterflies and just let them do what they do. This is what I call true photojournalism - watching, waiting and then taking the shot.
When we arrived I saw that it was a very large place and was anxious to check it out.
When you walk in the main entrance you have a large common area with tables to sit and relax. You have the gift shop and information desk to the left and to the right you have a cafeteria area. Through the gift shot is the entrance to an exhibit and that leads into the main butterfly room. I was not expecting the exhibit area and found many reptiles and insects to take photos of. My dad wanted to go check out the butterflies, but I was busy checking out all the reptiles. The room started to fill up with people so I eventually made it into the huge butterfly rooms.
If you're not a reptile person please skip further down to see some awesome butterflies.
- All these photos were taken with the 60mm Fuji macro lens.
These are some of the tiny frog eggs floating about.
These two look like they are sun tanning.
I like this one because this guy is looking at his buddy attempting to climb.
At this point I decided to head into the main room. This place was larger than I expected. There was a small pond, a presentation area, a pagoda and several benches to sit and enjoy the butterflies. There were hundreds and hundreds of butterflies there. And, many seemed tamed as you could walk up to them and take their photo without them taking off immediately. I also found that they had some birds there as well. And I was happy to see a few reptiles on display as well.
I admit that I didn't take many photos of the plants and trees there. But most bushes, trees, plants were taller than I was. Often times you were looking up to see some butterflies. There was so much to look at and even with families and kids walking around it never felt crowded.
This is the Atlas Moth. These guys are always so majestic. The ones I've seen are usually this size with a wingspan of about 14-16 inches.
This guy was chilling so I had to take a couple of him. The second was taken 10 minutes later when I made my way back there.
There were several of these feeding stations around. I was lucky enough to see this little guy there.
This guy was the king of the hill.
And this is mr Finch. In this photo I'm probably around a foot and a half from him and he was just looking around.
Here's another one near their feeding station.
I'm not joking when I saw that I could have stayed there another hour or two whether it be in the reptile area or checking out all the butterflies. I even think I saw a parrot at one point and a chameleon. And there was a koi pond there as well. But when you're hungry you have to go eat.
So we decided to go next door to the Monarch's Restaurant. The service and food was very good.
After a late lunch we headed out for our second stop of the day.