One of My Favorite Places to Be: With the Butterflies!

One of my absolute favorite places to go during any time of the year is the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond. I think many people are a bit disinterested when they think of a garden as a day trip, but with beautiful plants, art exhibits and a variety of events, I would recommend taking a trip to a botanical garden to anyone and everyone.

Right now, this garden is having a butterfly house event (which is always my favorite), where you can get a close look at an enormous variety of butterflies you wouldn't find flying around your average garden in the wild. Below are some butterflies I think are absolutely stunning!  

  1. 1. Red Lacewing

    These beautiful orange, black and white butterflies are Red Lacewing butterflies, a species that comes from India and southern China, as well as a few more locations. They must really love those little yellow and white flowers; they were all over them!

  2. 2. Clipper

    This little guy, a Clipper butterfly found in southern Asia, has to be my favorite. This butterfly was so photogenic and I couldn't get enough of it!  With its super fuzzy body and green-blue sheen, pictures really can’t do this amazing animal justice.    

  3. 3. Julia Longwing

    The Julia Longwing butterfly is a vibrant orange little creature that can be found from Brazil to the southern United States.  You’d think the butterflies with intricate-patterned wings would be more beautiful than those of a single color, but the solid orange with the length of the wings is truly eye-catching.  

  4. 4. Atala

    This butterfly is very small in comparison to the others flying around the greenhouse they’re living in, but its colors really make it stand out. This is an Atala butterfly, found in Florida and the Caribbean Islands.  These were hard to find— I only managed to see one during my time in their greenhouse!  When I did find that one hiding behind large leaves, it felt like I found a hidden gem with its unique appearance.

  5. 5. Zebra Longwing

    One species that could be seen flying all over the place were these Zebra Longwing butterflies, appropriately named for their big stripes across their wings.  They’re most commonly found in Mexico through Central America.  I got to see something special with one of these butterflies; one of the female butterflies was laying her eggs!

  6. 6. Unknown

    I can’t name this butterfly because I am not quite able to determine its species.  Its patterns look very similar to the Common Rose Swallowtail, but its wings aren’t exactly the right shape. I, unfortunately, can’t find any information on why that might be if it is the same species. 

  7. 7. Tree Nymph

    The yellowish-white butterfly with black lacey markings, I believe, is a Tree Nymph butterfly— a name as pretty as the insect!  These are most commonly found in southeast Asia, northern Australia and Taiwan.  There were a lot of these large, bright butterflies fluttering around. 

  8. 8. Red-Bodied Swallowtail

    This stunning black and red butterfly is a Red-Bodied Swallowtail.  This is one of the most beautiful creatures I have ever seen. It comes from Asia, though like the Tree Nymph it can also be found in Australia.  

  9. 9. Green-Veined White Butterfly

    The butterfly in the upper picture appears to be a Green-Veined White butterfly. It is mainly found in England and Ireland but can also be found in Whales and Scotland. The best way I can describe how these medium-small butterflies look is sweet and delicate. 

If you want to see the butterflies yourself, the butterfly house will be open until October 14th from 10am to 7pm daily.  Go check it out!