Tag Archives: butterflies

20200307_133415

JAMS AND HORSIES AND BUTTERFLIES, OH MY!

Thanks to the great tour group SHORTTRIPS.CA I enjoyed a day of coach touring around London & Cambridge, a couple of hours West of Toronto this past Saturday and oh what fabulous things I did!!

Departing Toronto at the crack o’ dawn, our “cruise director” Chris advised us that our first stop was the historic Banting House in London. Frederick Banting (with his partner Charles Best) discovered the insulin treatment for diabetes and this was a home he lived in for about a year during the 1920’s when he worked on the cure. 20200307_103806 20200307_103923Unfortunately all the beautiful glass windows had been removed for repair and restoration so all the window spaces were boarded up and the interior was quite dark. I managed to grab a few photos, esp. of his own artwork with was influenced by his friendship with A.Y. Jackson & the Group of Seven….20200307_10462620200307_104653 20200307_105047 20200307_105024 We were given about and hour and a half here, so after I finished my house tour, I headed out into the sunshine and took a walk down the street to check out the local stores. I discovered the “food incubator”, a warehouse full of delicious locally made foods, coffee, packaged goods, and discovered the booth of Glen Farms Herbs & Preserves, run by David Glen. He was busy making all sorts of tasty treats as I browsed the shelves….20200307_112308 20200307_112323 20200307_112342 20200307_112418I picked up local honey, blackcurrant jam (yummmmm) some Apple Mango chutney as well as a few more pots of  goodies. David is hoping to bring his hand-crafted wares to Toronto so check the website for news…  https://www.instagram.com/glenfarmsgourmet

Back on the bus, we then headed off for lunch at the McLachlan Family Farm & Pancake House, about an hour or so away. Our tummies were rumbling so we all encouraged our driver, Roxanne, to step on it!20200307_135124As everyone piled out and was escorted over to the campfire and sugaring off educational exhibits, I spied something a little more exciting so off I went…..

How exciting – I sat right up front for a great view….er, well, they did have cute furry butts!  Here’s maybe a nicer view…20200307_124340There was so much to see around the camp….lots of activities for the kids and those of us oldies who just wanna walk thru the forest…info about the farm and all they offer can be found at: www.mclachlansyrup.ca 20200307_124242 20200307_132616 20200307_134918 20200307_135205(0)The yummy lunch buffet included as many pancakes as I wanted (3), sausage, ham, baked beans, home fries and I had the biggest jug of fresh maple syrup all to myself!20200307_130131Burp! After about 2hrs of sweet fun, we all piled back onto the bus to go visit our 3rd and final destination – the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory. As Roxanne guided our bus through country backroads and highways, we all dozed off, digesting all the sugar we consumed…LOL. 20200307_163924Suddenly, out of the countryside and farmland, the big buildings of the conservatory appeared and we hastened off the bus in desperate need of bathrooms (all that  coffee, hot chocolate & syrup had taken its toll!) then into the hot steamy conservatory to visit the fluttering fairy-like creatures.

It brought back memories of my visit to the big butterfly world in Phoenix, Arizona, a year ago.  Just look at all the pretty b.flies…20200307_162302 20200307_162647 20200307_163312This giant owl moth even decided to hitch-hike on my butt!20200307_162529There were cute quails and lots of pretty little birds (finches, I think) flying around – they eat all the dead bugs, grubs, etc, keeping the enclosure clean for the butterflies.20200307_162857 20200307_162604

Our tour group was given coffee, tea and snacks … then time for one last pit stop before heading home to Toronto. OMG, this (below) was on the back of the loo doors; how about going to the upcoming “Bug Fest” to nibble on real insects? No thank you!! I’ll stick to admiring the wee beasties as they fly around…LOL But if you want to visit yourself, directions and hours can be found here: www.cambridgebutterfly.com20200307_172432Thanks again to the wonderful folks at www.ShortTrips.ca for such an exciting, fun-filled day. Check out all their upcoming excursions that include meals and admissions to all the venues -I highly recommend their big blue bus.20200307_133415

 

20190410_124647

MY ARIZONA ADVENTURE (Pt. VI) – Dances with Butterflies

On my last full day in Arizona, my friend AJ took me to meet the tiny winged creatures living in Butterfly Wonderland located in Scottsdale. What a lovely way to spend a couple of hours walking through the gardens while thousands of tiny (and not so tiny) butterflies flitted around us.

It took a while for me to focus my phone camera – so many flutterbies to follow. There were a number of cute kids who were fascinated with them, too, so I just focused on one family….

I managed to capture some great shots of them as they sat in the sunlight, resting their wings…20190410_132718 20190410_134253 20190410_132647 20190410_134248I even picked up a hitchhiker…..the great butterfly escape of 2019!20190410_134055The park keeps chickens to eat up all the nasty bugs who are dangerous to the butterflies…this cute one kept clucking at me as I tried to snap a pic.20190410_132906Lunchtime….everyone in the fruit bowl!20190410_132358AJ had several butterflies use him as a resting spot…

And unbeknownst to me, I had been walking around for some time with this gorgeous wee beastie riding on my back.20190410_134342

 

AJ took lots of great shots I’d like to share with you…just look at these beauties:IMG_7648IMG_7697IMG_7729IMG_7731IMG_7750We were starting to get pretty hot and clammy thanks to the temperature and humidity of the “wonderland” so AJ and I went thru to the adjacent reptile rooms and found some pretty cool critters (in a much cooler environment…LOL). Check these out…20190410_135737 20190410_140109 20190410_140118What a blast!  Time for something to eat so we departed Butterfly Wonderland and headed out into the “mall” where we located a rather interesting restaurant….20190410_154125 20190410_145930 20190410_145959Yes, a dino-bistro complete with crazy ass dinosaur models! Food was pretty good – mostly Mediterranean style, and afterwards we walked around both levels of the compound…the sun shone thru the wrought iron railings creating some lovely shadow designs.20190410_154123If you plan on visiting Scottsdale/Phoenix, I highly recommend spending an afternoon here – lots to see and do, not just butterflies. And the souvenir shops are fabulous – lots of nifty things and very inexpensive.  For directions and details, visit their website: www.butterflywonderland.com

Back home to Camp Joy Ranch, enjoying the beautiful countryside for the last time….20190410_161841 20190407_172512 20190410_120828The following day, I had to fly back to Toronto, via Calgary, so this night, AJ and I had our “last supper” at one of the local steak houses…yummmm.IMG_7812I’ll be back for sure…even if it’s just for the amazing steaks!!