Grey days and butterflies

I have had a couple of days off work and I decided I would spend them wisely.  First trip out had to be to Wisley to see the butterflies in the hothouse.  I have wanted to go to this for two years but for a variety of reasons had not managed to go before.  One reason I have to admit is the long drive and the cost of petrol in particular.  It is getting on for two hours from here to there and the cost of petrol is a scary thing these days.  The actual length of drive itself is not an issue, I enjoy driving and find long journeys really good for clearing the head.  It gives me space to think and to sing (badly) to the radio.
It was a very grey day when I left home.  Everything seemed grey, apart from the black dirt thrown up on the sides of the motorway covering the grasses and weeds that struggle to live so close to the tarmac.  It was a good drive down though and I got there late morning.  I decided to go to see the butterflies at lunch time, hoping that everyone would be eating lunch.  Maybe many were, but quite a few were queueing to see the butterflies as well.  I was surprised at how many people were there, though for a February day it was good to see so many people enjoying the gardens and the hothouse. They have a good system of only letting a limited number of people in at a time to see the butterflies.  This does cause queues, but that is unavoidable.  There were still quite a lot of people in the hothouse all anxiously trying to see butterflies and photograph them.  Photographing them was a bit of a challenge, my lens kept steaming up.

I didn't see as many butterflies as I expected, but then I am not sure how many I expected to see.  What I did think was excellent though was that the hunt to spot the butterfly meant that you had to look carefully at the plants.  I saw some beautiful flowers and foliage that I might not have studied so hard without the quest for the butterfly.
Then as I left the hothouse the rain began.  I sheltered for a bit hoping it might end but no, it was set in so I decided to visit the plant centre and then go home.  I was very good, I only bought a few gingers that just happened to catch my eye.  Then I drove home, in the rain, thinking of the flashes of colour in the hothouse in an otherwise grey grey day.


  1. I know what you mean about long drives - so many places I want to visit are nearer 3 hrs drive than 2 and I just cant bring myself to make the journey. Personally I get freaked out by those large butterflies but it is nice to see you photographs

  2. The butterflies were not too big - and quite static - hardly saw any flying


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