A week ago today my parents left after a stellar weekend in the Pioneer Valley. I wanted to make the visit really special for them, so chose one place each that fit what they loved. We ended up at Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory for mom and the Springfield Armory museum for dad. I cherished every single moment with each of them and seeing their faces light up when they were enjoying each place made all the days I miss them so terribly worth it.
This will be all photos (and some narrative, because how do I miss the chance to tell you how TERRIFIED I was in butterfly sanctuary?)! I took a ton, EVEN in the butterfly place where I was seriously ducking and diving every two seconds and kept my hands in fists at my sides to avoid slapping flying things out of my face – it turns out it’s not just birds that wig me out, but flying things in general. Even if they are super pretty.
When you start in Magic Wings you first walk into a room with a bunch of tanks that house lizards and frogs and other cute little things – oh, and like a shit ton of beetles and cockroaches. Like, some SERIOUSLY gross ones.
There was also a display of “Moth vs Butterfly”, telling you the differences – and that’s where my fear started creeping in.
When I think of butterflies, I think of delicate little guys, fluttering around. I rarely picture ones with thick, fuzzy bodies and enormous wings, the type that were showcased behind the glass. The kind that were also going to be inside, flying around my head.
But, for the time being, I focused on some cuteness.
And then we walked into the thick of it. A balmy greenhouse filled with plants and thousands of butterflies just doing their thing. I had read previously that birds also inhabited the space, but thankfully we got there early enough that they weren’t awake yet (except for the one perched on a woman’s shoulder as she walked by, and you can bet your ass I FLEW to the other side of the walkway).
Though I was stiff and cringing and ducking a lot, I have to say that Magic Wings is truly a beautiful, peaceful place. In our last five minutes there, my mom simply stopped and looked up, taking it all in. In that moment I forgot my fear and did the same and was able to truly enjoy the whole thing. It’s nature, it’s free to you and me, and it’s something that should experienced with reverence.
My father is an avid gun collector, especially of those with historical significance. He had a field day at the Springfield Armory, and I realized just how many awesome pieces of history he owns after he pointed out the guns behind display cases that he had in his possession. He also spouted off some awesome knowledge about almost everything we saw!
Some of the craftsmanship is outstanding.
We also visited Yankee Candle and in the process bought this enormous bear claw to split. IT WAS SO GOOD. (hand for scale)