Last week on a chilly day we hopped on the M25 and headed to RHS Wisley. It was our first visit and perhaps an odd time of year to go, if it wasn't for the butterflies. Yes, there's butterflies in the 'jungle' glasshouse until early March and so as MOH had some time off from work it seemed as good a time as any to go. There was of course traffic on the M25, but it wouldn't be the M25 if it didn't, would it.
We were very restrained as we entered the garden and rather than rushing straight over to the main attraction we wandered through some of the garden before arriving at the huge glasshouses. Then we took in the warmth and the increase of temperatures as we moved closer to the butterflies. I've photos of the gardens and the outer-glasshouses too, but I'll share those another time as today I want to focus on the butterflies.
They're fast though so I'm pleased I've captured as many as I have, I'd like to say I knew what I was doing and planned it just like this but, well I didn't...
This post has the potential to be the butterfly equivalent of a "Where's Wally" post so I'll let you know now, there's I think three shots where I haven't spotted a butterfly yet, and a couple of those are below. I've included them so you get a sense of the colour in the glasshouses, I'd like to give you a burst of the heat too but haven't worked out a way to do that!
The butterflies can apparently see us from three metres away, and they like bright colours as this lady discovered. They flew and landed on my pink top too, again landing on my back so someone else probably has that photo.
We saw quite a lot of the blue butterfly which we believe is a Blue Morpho (Morpho Peleides) from the signs on show, but didn't do so well at identifying the others.
This was the only other one we managed to identify - it's a Big Billy (Atrophaneura Semperi) which I caught having a snooze as we went up the stairs.
There were plenty of butterfly feeding stations dotted around and here I was able to capture three, although I didn't spot the third until later. This happened more than once and some of their camouflage and how they blend in is quite amazing.
This red, fluffy bush (yes that's a technical term) was very popular with the butterflies and subsequently visitors alike and this sequence of shots show one arriving for some of its nectar.
And I couldn't end this post without a shot of this beautiful hibiscus and the reflections in the glasshouse.
Even as we left the butterfly area of the glasshouse we noticed the temperature notch down, but the cacti and orchids were enjoying it and it was still much warmer than the outside temperatures. But we braved it and back outside we headed off in search of more of Wisley's gems - it's definitely a garden we'll visit again.