We weren’t very lucky with the weather during our short visit to Niagara Falls. I kept waiting for a brilliant blue sky to appear and shimmering rainbows to glisten over the magnificent falls, but it wasn’t meant to be. The mornings were actually so foggy we couldn’t see out our window. But once it had cleared a little, there was a certain allure to the grey sky dredged with mist and shadow, swirling water, and stone.
Plus, I had a stop on the way home in mind that was sure to be fun and full of brilliant colours. First though, we grabbed our morning coffees and took one last stroll, breathing in the scenery, looking and listening to the falls. We walked down into the Maid of the Mist Marketplace and stumbled upon an Elvis impersonator crooning the hits in Niagara Falls!
We packed up and hit the road to the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory as a first stop on our way home. We timed it so that Julian would be awake – I thought he’d get a kick out of the movement and bright colours of the butterflies. The conservatory seems out of the way since you drive down the Niagara Parkway to a secluded, slightly wooded area and wander through lush gardens bursting with blooms to get to it, but there were a LOT of other people inside the glassed building.
For the most part though, it was still easy to slowly walk and gaze at the beautiful fluttering shapes, watching them pause and hover and gracefully dive, flitting from flower to leaf and even perching on a person if they were lucky.
The habitat was filled with swooping large leaves, trees, flowers in vibrant hues of red, yellow and violet, and interestingly weird plants. There was a path that wound through the greenhouse and a glassed in area where you could see the soon to emerge butterflies (we couldn’t get close, too crowded).
It was pretty serene and amazing, feeling the butterflies whiz past you and observing them go about their business. You could see how some of them would blend right into their surroundings: wings closed, they appeared to be a bit of loose bark dangling off a tree, greyish-brown and boring, or an animal’s eye leering out from the darkness. But in flight, the inside of the wings were brilliant blue, or black with lines of lime green.
There were trays of oranges and bananas for the butterflies to feast on, and I saw a guy grab an orange slice and squeeze the juice over his arm, trying to entice a butterfly to land on him. I also witnessed several people trying to coax the butterflies off leaves and into their hands. We were very careful to look only, especially making sure Julian’s little grabby hands stayed out of reach of the fragile creatures.
It only seems fair since we’re intruding on them to let them be. A small, caramel coloured beauty landed on my arm as I was walking, just a brief whisper of a touch, and flew off after a moment. If they want to…they will. If they don’t, it’s still incredible to look at the hundreds of, floating, fluttering little butterflies. We all had a good time.
We really enjoyed the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory and it was a great stop before we hit to road to Toronto again to spend a couple of hours with Ali and Justin, who welcomed us with hugs and home made root beer from their soda machine! We all had dinner together before we headed home that night, getting stuck in construction on the 401, but overall enjoying a long, dark drive under the night time sky.