Yesterday afternoon we traveled to Deerfield, Massachusetts, to visit Magic Wings, an indoor arboretum housing thousands of butterflies.
As we sauntered through the narrow pathways past all sorts of exotic plants, the butterflies were everywhere: flitting about, soaring up toward the netting overhead, delicately landing on flowers, sucking sweetness from dishes of filleted fruit and colorful sponges.
We passed over a small footbridge and paused to look down at the huge orange fish in the clear water. On the ground at our feet, species of small quail scurried about in search of seedy morsels. An old man sat under the gazebo, butterflies resting on his hat and shirtsleeves.
In the vestibule we marveled at the collection of poisonous dart frogs, walking sticks, cockroaches and leaf bugs from down under. My granddaughter shrieked with delight when she saw the Costa Rican tree frogs poised on curved green broad leaves, staring back through bright red eyes. Her first stuffed animal was an exact replica.
Afterwards we sampled ice cream cones outside in the sun. On the far mountains across the valley the maples were beginning to flower.
Homeward bound, we sang songs as we sped south down the interstate. As our ethereal afternoon drew to a close, my thoughts turned towards Nabokov’s butterflies.