The Magic of Life Butterfly House

The Magic of Life Butterfly House

A short distance from the Welsh coastal town of Aberystwyth is Cwm Rheidol (English translation: Rheidol Valley), a beautiful, stunning valley perfect for walking, cycling and fishing. This week our visit there was to The Magic of Life Butterfly House, but there is plenty to see and do in the area if you have time.

The Magic of Life Butterfly House is only small, but they do pack a lot of butterflies in there. They also have a few other creatures, but the moment the receptionist mentioned the word “tarantula” I turned a funny shade of green and decided I’d not venture to that area. Thankfully, that particular creature wasn’t in with the butterflies!

Madagascar Comet Moth
Madagascar Comet Moth

Even before we went into the butterfly house I was in awe… Clinging to a log on the reception desk was a Madagascan Comet Moth. It was absolutely massive and far more beautiful than any other moth I’ve seen. Once they have emerged from their cocoon as an adult moth they no longer feed and so, tragically, only have a matter of days to live. This means they don’t have long to find a mate. Sadly, much of the Madagascan Comet Moth’s natural habitat has been destroyed through deforestation, this is yet another creature which could disappear from the planet (although it is being successfully bred in captivity, apparently).

Mocker Swallowtail (Female) butterfly
Mocker Swallowtail (Female) butterfly
Butterfly ready for take-off!
Butterfly ready for take-off!
Orange Tiger (Dryadula) butterfly
Orange Tiger (Dryadula) butterfly
Pink Rose butterfly
Pink Rose butterfly
Brown Pansy butterfly
Brown Pansy butterfly

The butterfly house is home to tropical butterflies and so it is rather hot and humid inside (more about this later!). The butterflies are plentiful and flutter around, landing anywhere. There were a few times when I was taking photos of one butterfly another would land on my camera or hand.

Postman Rosina butterfly
Postman Rosina butterfly
Orange Tiger butterfly
Orange Tiger butterfly
Clipper butterfly
Clipper butterfly
Hecale's Longwing butterfly
Hecale’s Longwing butterfly
Butterfly
Butterfly
Sara Longwing butterfly
Sara Longwing butterfly

By dipping your finger in some liquid it is possible to encourage a butterfly to sit on your finger. The young children who were there on my visit found this very interesting and fun. Some types of butterflies seemed more likely to do this than others. Likewise, some butterflies were more inclined to stay still, whilst others would constantly be fluttering about.

Clipper butterfly
Clipper butterfly
Mother of Pearl butterfly
Mother of Pearl butterfly
Postman Rosina butterfly
Postman Rosina butterfly
Tree Nymph butterfly
Tree Nymph butterfly

It was very interesting to see all the different butterflies at The Magic of Life Butterfly House, but I have to admit to being relieved to go back out into what felt like cool air outside (it wasn’t actually all that cool outside, it just felt like it after the humidity of the butterfly house). I’d definitely visit again, in fact, I’m hoping to take my niece and nephew there during the summer holidays as I think it would be something they would enjoy.

Clipper butterfly
Clipper butterfly
Postman Rosina butterfly
Postman Rosina butterfly

A tip: Don’t apply sunscreen before a visit to the butterfly house. Within minutes, the sunscreen I had applied to my face was running down into my eyes in the humid air. Lesson learnt!

From the car park of The Magic of Life Butterfly House (shared with Rheidol Visitor Centre), we were lucky enough to see the first Vale of Rheidol steam train wind its way through the valley after wildfires ravaged the woodland in the valley. The railway had to be shut for two weeks whilst the fire was put out and tracks repaired. The damaged woodland looks a sorry sight at the moment, but it was great to see the steam train back on track. We hadn’t realised it was re-opening that day, otherwise, we might have included a visit to The Vale of Rheidol Railway in our plans. Never mind, another time!

16 comments

  1. Kelly says:

    All these butterflies are absolutely stunning! I would love to visit a place like this… as long as I didn’t have to see the caterpillars. I gather you must feel about spiders much like I do about worms (which a caterpillar might as well be, IMO). It explains your reaction to the spider I posted on IG not long ago!

    High humidity is a fact of life where I live. *sigh*

    • Nikki says:

      I noticed a couple of caterpillars, but not many. Spiders freak me out… The other day I was brushing my hair when something caught the corner of my eye. It turned out to be a sizeable spider on my top! Argh!

  2. Anca says:

    I love butterflies. After looking at your pictures I’ve realized it’s been a long time since I’ve been to a butterfly house. I’ll try to remember your tip about sunscreen. 🙂
    The pictures are stunning. x

  3. jeanie says:

    Oh, Nikki — this is fabulous. Every photo is a work of art. I’ve only been to one butterfly house and it was truly a magical experience. This sounds the same. And what photos and glorious colors! This is something I would love to pieces. Now I need to find out if Aberswyth (sp) is anywhere close to Abergavenny for our October visit!

    Thanks for coming over and leaving such a nice comment on my blog about the black and white Paris pix. There is indeed something mesmerizing about black and white but right here with your butterflies I wouldn’t change a thing. They are simply stunning.

    • Nikki says:

      Thank you for your lovely comments! I must admit, it’s a bit of a trek from Abergavenny to Aberystwyth, but you pass through some stunning countryside.

  4. REALLY stunning pictures! Sadly, my old Instamatic and what seems to be a nervous twitch scuppers me on micro every time… 🙂 Those creatures are seriously beautiful – so frail – and what is about butterflies that makes you want to smile? Definitely somewhere for children, too.

  5. Debbie says:

    Hi Nikki, what stunning photos! Each one so clear, it’s like the butterflies happily sat and posed for you. I’m not a moth lover I don’t like their unpredictable movements, but that Madagascan moth is simply stunning and it’s such a shame their numbers are declining… Even the pink rose butterfly with all its blackness is stunning too. The mother of pearl butterfly looks so delicate… I imagine it’s fascinating to feed the butterflies too.

    Thank you for popping over and sharing your day out with #keepingitreal.

    xx

  6. The couple of butterfly houses we have visited, have seating placed strategically around, so that you can sit and just soak up the sight of all those lovely butterflies (so long as you can stand the humidity that is). I can generally relax for a few minutes, whilst Dave takes pictures to his hearts content.

    It is sometimes a shame that other visitors can’t respect the etheral beauty of the butterflies and keep the volume down a bit as they are walking round.

    We couldn’t even entertain going into a butterfly house, if we were with my SIL, as she freaks out immediately one flies within a hundred feet of her, but then she is the same way about aviaries.

    I can’t really pick out one particular favourite of your pictures, as all the butterflies are so beautiful in their own way, but as I have never come across a mother-of-pearl before, I think that one wins by a whisker!

    Lovely shots, as always. Thanks for sharing and I hope that all is well with you 🙂

    Yvonne
    xx

  7. Jo says:

    So many different varieties and all so beautiful. I’m not sure I’d want them landing on me though, I must admit that as stunning as they are, I’m a little freaked out by butterflies, strange, I know!

  8. Jeanna says:

    Amazing critter macro shots, the second one looks as if it’s dancing. They’re having a butterfly exhibit nearby and it sounds as if it’s always packed, but you really make me want to check it out.

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