A tropical paradise. That was my first thought when I stepped into the conservatory at Magic Wings in South Deerfield. Even after talking to Kathy Fiore, the general manager and co-owner of Magic Wings, I was not totally prepared for this experience.
Fiore says that’s a typical first reaction.
“Sometimes it’s just their first walking in and not knowing what to expect so they’re kind of overwhelmed by the warmth, the beauty of the tropical butterflies, all of the greenery,” she explains. “I don’t think people expect to see that in western Mass.”
That was me in a nutshell. I stood at the entrance for quite a few minutes, just trying to absorb everything—the plants, the colors, and of course, the butterflies, fluttering everywhere. Fiore says there’s much more to the conservatory than just butterflies, though.
“What we have to offer here is an indoor tropical environment. It’s 8,000 square feet. It’s home to roughly 4000 tropical butterflies also lizards, tortoises, birds, fish, so it’s just a tropical menagerie of all sorts of creatures.”
As I continued my walk through the conservatory, I noticed people all around me were smiling in excitement as a butterfly landed on them. A group of kids surrounded one girl who was standing very still, staring in awe at the butterfly that landed on her arm.
But there weren’t just kids there on that Saturday afternoon. People of all ages strolled around the conservatory, taking photos and observing the butterflies. Fiore says Magic Wings appeals to all ages because of the environment the butterflies help create.
“They see it as sort of a serene place for them, a place where they can maybe find some peace, they can relax, bring a book,” she says.
Magic Wings is located at 281 Greenfield Road in South Deerfield, Mass. They are open 7 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm.