“Let’s go to the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory. I haven’t been there for years.”
My son David laughs. He knows I love butterflies, and he lives an hour from the world-class butterfly house in Durham, North Carolina.
“Sure,” he says, “and I’ll probably have Swallowtails in my gardens by then. And Bluebirds. Lots of Bluebirds. Before we go to the conservatory, I scheduled a massage session for you.” (I feel like the Queen Mother.)
“Magic Wings is an 8000 square-foot tropical conservatory with nearly 4000 free-flying tropical and native butterflies from all over the world!”
The butterfly conservatory is a place of peace—a tropical paradise providing a break from the news. I wander with David and then sit on wooden benches while gorgeous butterflies float, sunbathe, lift, soar, and stop for a taste of fresh flower nectar or an orange or nearly rotten banana.
David and I follow the butterflies around with cameras. It’s Blue Morpho paradise, a Costa Rican butterfly I never see in New York, although I had a dream about one once. I don’t know the boy in this photo, but I love his focus. He stands quietly, gazing at the Morpho for many minutes, neither of them moving.
Migrating monarchs arrive in New York near the end of May or early June. Until then, there is an April afternoon at a peaceful butterfly temple in North Carolina where the butterfly goddess Psyche reigns.
On David’s back porch after our trip to the butterfly museum. (Photos of the day by David and me.) I want to learn the names of all the butterflies we saw and photographed. Do you know the names of many butterflies and moths?
For a post about a dream I had of a Blue Morpho, even though I’d never seen one, see The Color of Forgiveness. For a story of my sons after their dad died, see Pushing Through: A Poem for Grieving Hearts.