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Exotic Butterflies in Maryland

Tropical rainforest butterflies float over flowerbeds seeking the sweet nectar the blossoms produce. Morpho butterflies, iridescent sky blue above and brownish below land on a tray with rotting fruit to sip the salts and nutrients from soft bananas, pears and watermelon. Owl butterflies with large eye spots to scare predators also enjoy the produce.

Zebra long-wings flutter in the vegetation while autumn leaf butterflies cling to the stems of plants looking like dead leaves. Rice paper and Isabella butterflies mingle with monarch and giant swallowtails.

No, global warming has yet to change the Maryland deciduous forests into rainforests; we are in the Wings of Fancy Butterfly Exhibit at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland. Dozens upon dozens of subtropical and tropical butterflies have free roam inside the butterfly house.

My two-year-old grandson was not so sure about these colorful creatures. At first, he had apprehension about them, but after alighting on his shoes and his shirt without biting (of course butterflies do not have mouth and cannot bite), he warmed up to them. It was a learning experience for him and an opportunity to foster stewardship of God’s creatures. If you are in the Baltimore, Maryland area, this is a place worth the visit, not only for the butterfly house, but to enjoy Brookside’s 50 acres of gardens.

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