Have you ever been to a butterfly farm? We used to go to this place in the UK that was an unlikely combination of butterfly farm and otter sanctuary. It was great going into the big glasshouse where the big tropical butterflies where, especially on a rainy, grey old day. The warmth and colours were a stark contrast to the cold and grey out side, it was like someone had turned the brightness up.
I was reminded of these trips last week sitting in the gardens of our Counseling Retreat hotel surrounded by lush green foliage and some unbelievably huge and colourful butterflies. Some really are gigantic and fly more like birds, gliding and weaving through the Teak trees, dwarfing the iridescent Sun Birds (Asia’s equivalent of South Americas Humming Birds)hovering in mid air and sipping nectar from abundant flowers.
It really is like being in a huge butterfly farm. There is the Giant Swallow Tail, with bright yellow and red markings and distinctive long “tail” and the smaller, pretty, dappled brown and black butterfly whose name a Thai friend of mine translated literally as “The Variable Sailor”, a little off course up here by the mountains. Although I suppose being “variable” that is permissible.
My absolute favourite though has to be the “Giant Atlas”. So named, as the pattern on its outstretched wings resemble a map of the world. It’s not strictly speaking a butterfly but a huge moth, out sizing all other moths and butterflies by yards; well at least centimetres! It really is huge and quite unbelievable, and you might be lucky enough to see one on your Counselling Retreat or Life Coaching Holiday up in the mountains.
This is the best time of year to see them (Oct/ Nov). When the night time rains are coming to an end and there is an abundance of foliage and food for them to feed on.
The first time I saw an Atlas moth I had difficulty making out what it was. My eyes were telling me that I was looking at a huge butterfly or moth sitting motionless on a tree. My brain was trying to figure out if it was a child’s toy, a kite that had got stuck at an awkward angle or an optical illusion. Its wing span was about 30cm (over 12 inches), bigger than most dinner plates. I really could hardly believe it. Back in the UK it would be the size of a large Thrush or Blackbird; a real life giant.
They are commonly spotted soaring through the gardens at the Puripunn Hotel. So if you feel like combining a Life Coaching Holiday or Counseling Retreat with a Butterfly and Moth Adventure Tour I can happily say that you have come to the right place, and would be fairly confident that we would be the only people in the world to offer such a unique (read unusual) retreat holiday.
Happy butterfly spotting. Talk to you next week.
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