I woke this morning to my first grey day in Stockholm. The bright sun and brilliant blue skies of the last two and half days had been replaced by a sullen layer of cloud that threatened rain.
To inject a little colour into my life, I decided to spend the morning in one of Stockholm’s indoor rainforests, the Fjärilshuset (Butterfly House) in Haga Park.
A modest affair from outside, the Fjärilshuset is a wonderland of Mediterranean and tropical plants populated by an assortment of reptiles, fish, birds and of course, butterflies.
The three sections that make up the House are arranged somewhat like a Roman bath in the sense that you begin in a cool room, move into a warm room and end up, with the butterflies, in a rather hot and steamy room, that today, was a good 30 C warmer than it was outside.
As I was so engrossed in the plant and animal life – the wolf-whistling white and yellow parakeet, which also did a mean imitation of cat’s meow was a special favourite – it wasn’t until I was almost completely drenched with sweat that I realised how hot I’d become and after returning to the first and coolest room for a few minutes, I took off my sweater, rolled up my sleeves and headed back in.
This time, I did somewhat better. My first once-through had revealed a lot of butterfly cocoons but very few butterflies.
This second time, I noticed far more, everything from delicate black and white polka dotted ones to butterflies the size of both hands in dazzling shades of crimson, orange and electric blue- though almost none, of course, that would stop flitting for long enough for me to photograph them.
One That Didn’t Get Away
Luckily the fish, especially a tank full of fat, gasping camera-greedy Koi, were more accommodating.
Nothing Koi About This Lot