Sunday, 14 July 2013

At Last! Actual Real Photos Of Actual Real Butterflies, And Other Interesting Animals....

As those of you who read my little collection of tales regularly will know, I have spent the past couple of weeks trying and failing to get pics of butterflies and have been getting increasingly frustrated by it as a result. This morning I cheated and went to a Tropical Butterfly Centre. 
They may not technically be Wild British Butterflies, but they are still absolutely stunning and I think worthy of a post. 

We were up and out bright and breezy and arrived at the New Forest Wildlife Park at Ashurst as the doors opened at 10, thereby avoiding 1) The Heat and 2) The Crowds. 

As a strategy it paid off. There was only one Incredibly Annoying Child who insisted on throwing stones at every wild creature she encountered and then screaming when she was told not to. After listening to several rounds of the placating tones of her mother saying "darling, I've told you not to do that," followed by the irritating child demanding "why?" followed by the mother: "because you'll get into trouble," (not, I noticed crossly: "because it will hurt the animals") followed by a petulant "who with?" followed by a soft "the people who look after the animals, my darling," I was quite close to picking said child up and chucking her in with the otters, who were about to be fed and would no doubt have taught her some manners and respect for aforesaid wild creatures. 

Fortunately the butterflies were more than enough to take my mind of it. Even L remained in the butterfly house quite chirpily for longer than his usual few seconds, and M was very pleased because as well as gorgeous butterflies there were also giant snails, and next to leaf cutter ants he likes giant snails Best Of All.

I had to do some detective work on the internet when we got home to furnish the pics with IDs as there weren't any obvious labels in the house, so if any are wrong feel free to correct. The label refers to the photo above.

  Caligo Memnon (The Owl)

Siproeta Stelenes (Malachite)

No ID for this one, but it's a beauty, no?

Idea Leuconae (Great Tree Nymph)

Morpho Peleides (Blue Morpho)

Tithorea Harmonia (Harmonia Tiger-Wing)

Siproeat Stelenes (Malachite) with wings open

The Owl, enjoying some orange

Blue Morpho, just hatched!

 Blue Morpho with wings open

Great Tree Nymph close up

 Tiger Wing with wings open


 Papilio Rumanzovia (Scarlet Mormon)

As well as the Butterfly House, the Wildlife Park boasts lots of other beautiful, well housed and well cared for animals in as natural and spacious an environment as I have yet seen in these kinds of places. They all looked happy and relaxed. Most were native to the British Isles, although a few (such as some of the owls) were more exotic types. During the hour or two we were there we saw.....

Happy Otters

This young otter was rescued and now lives happily at the centre

Harvest Mice

An extremely friendly hedgehog

Mummy Wild Boar and Two Piglets

 Very Friendly Deer

A Beautiful Tawny Owl

A Lesser Spotted Child In His Natural Habitat On The Zip Wire

Lesser Spotted Child and Father Competing To See Who Could Climb To The Top First (L won)

There were also Wolves who were sensibly sleeping hidden away out of the sun (much to L's disappointment as they are his favourite animal). It's a fab place to visit so if you ever find yourself in Ashurst on the edge of the New Forest it's well worth a trip, whether you have small people in tow or not. Get there early though because it does get busy.

I'll end with some snaps of our sunflowers at home which are just starting to come out, and the Hollyhocks which are also starting to bloom....

And finally, my favourite photo of the day, a magnificent Stag at the Wildlife Park.

Wishing you all a good week ahead, with this incredible heatwave apparently set to stay with us (hope it doesn't use itself up completely before the summer holidays which are only a week away now! CT x


  1. I've come in from the heat! Although it's a little better today as there is a breeze. CT your close up photos are amazing. Love all the animals-otters are a favourite.

    1. I'm really pleased with the way they came out. Think it must have unblocked my butterfly energy because on a walk this afternoon I managed to get some decent pics of wild ones too! Will post them tomorrow.

  2. Great butterfly shots! But they're all beautiful. Except for the mice.

    1. I very nearly dedicated the mice to you :-)

  3. Lovely photos especially like the last one :) Sounds like yo u had a great day out :) Haven't been to a Butterfly House since getting my camera - must try and visit the one at Stratford soon!

    1. It was the Stratford Butterfly house website I used to ID these, so it looks like they have some fantastic species there. Be v interested to see pics if you do go x

  4. What beautiful butterflies and fabulous animals you saw :) That bubba otter is sooooo cute! The sunflower photos are wonderful too!

    1. It really is a lovely place, wide open spaces and contented animals. The otters were fabulous, so cheeky and inquisitive. The deer are very friendly too and suck your clothes if you're not careful! There's a bee on my next post - wondered if you might know what type it was? :-)


Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x