Friday, November 25, 2016

Butterflies delight at Victoria's enchanting Butterfly Garden

This pretty inhabitant is a  contented resident at Victoria's Butterfly Gardens in Brentwood Bay, B.C.  
Favorite fruits of the butterflies and moths are placed where they'll enjoy.

THE IRISH believe that butterflies are the souls of the dead waiting to pass through purgatory.
These delicate little jewels have a revered place in myths, legends and folklore stories from many cultures.
The symbolic meaning of the butterfly is part of the draw of Victoria Butterfly Gardens, which attracts thousands of visitors each year to study and appreciate these magnificent inhabitants of the planet.
We strolled around the beautifully laid out exhibit north of Victoria, B.C., not far from the famed Butchart Gardens.

Victoria's enchanting Butterfly Gardens offers an opportunity
to stroll among dozens of beautiful rain forest inhabitants.
FOR US, it was a rare opportunity to experience a tropical jungle in the northern hemisphere. The gardens are home to nearly 70 species of butterfly and moth, as well as crazily bold colored dart frogs, well fed tortoises, a handsome iguana, talkative parrots and macaws, gorgeous flamingos, preening ducks and enormous koi.
We spent a lovely day here, then just five minutes away, at Butchart Gardens, another must-see in B.C.
Click to explore the beauty of Butchart Gardens
A restful pond at Butterfly Gardens is home to enormous koi and  jungle plants.
Calming sounds from the waterfalls enchanrted as we wandered past pretty ponds and serene pools. Our stroll was accented by the cheery chirps of tropical birds.
In preparation for our visit, we'd studied the butterfly folklore of native tribes, finding that butterflies to many represent change and balance. The butterfly has also become a symbol of ephemeral beauty, even vanity and frivolous behavior. But most cultures consider butterflies to be symbols of good luck.  Some, including my grandmother's Irish clan, have strict taboos against killing these graceful and important creatures.
WE STROLLED into the pleasantly  humid, climate controlled environment and the warmth and moisture reminded of my visits to the rain forests of Brazil and Peru.
Cookie is happy to be immersed in the glories of Victoria's Butterfly Gardens.

A content sulcata tortoise hails from Northern Africa and is
a full-time resident, with a dozen others, at Victoria Butterfly Gardens.
As an unexpected and delightful bonus, the gardens also offers dozens of beautiful plants of the jungle and rainforest, from the purplish-blue sky clock vine of southeast Asia to the vibrant bleeding heart vine of West Africa, the open-mouthed tropical pitcher plant of Asia, which looks like an extra from "Little Shop of Horrors," and the lantanas, angel trumpet and bromeliads of Central and South America and the Philippines, plants which have also made their way to southern California for us to enjoy in our San Diego environment.

On this same trip, we had seen Orcas mating -- rare, indeed -- and at the Victoria Butterfly Gardens we saw tortoises from Northern Africa mating.  We also met and visited with Rosie, a stunning red eclectus parrot from Papua, New Guinea.  Flamingos Houdini and Mango posed for us, and several poisonous dart frogs in the colors of the rainbow hopped about in their cleverly designed cases.
THERE APPEAR to be no unhappy campers at the tranquil Victoria place, including the rest of the audience who joined us in an enriching and leisurely celebration of the glorious wonders of nature.

The Majestic Hotel, formerly the Ahwahnee, is a glorious old fashioned national park hotel.
Its name was changed in Yosemite National Park during a trademark dispute.

COMING UP: The Majestic Hotel, for decades known as the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park, is a venerable and much loved landmark of this national park. We take you there, to enjoy a leisurely stay below the granite cliffs and waterfalls of Yosemite.  Remember to explore, learn and live and check us out weekends for a fresh spin on nature- and arts-driven travel, always beautifully illustrated. Please tell your savvy friends about us.


  1. Finely done, fondly remembering our visit. A restful, beautiful retreat.