In 2017 I visited the Butterfly Conservatory, the work of Ry Heslop. I found it to be an engaging visit – one you can read about in Of lepidopterans, owls, bugs and honey in Second Life. I actually lost track of the conservatory a little while after that visit, so was pleased to learn via the Destination Guide that it has made a return to Second life and has a new home and it went on the list for places to (re)check out.
Once again occupying a sky garden, the conservatory shares the space with the Merge Club, also operated by Ry. A mover is in operation at the landing point, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself being shuffled away on teleporting – this is presumably to keep those arriving for events at the club from stacking up on one another’s heads.
A crossway on the footpath points the way to the three primary locations on the platform: a dining area under a pergola, the club, and the Conservatory – the latter unmissable in its impressive new building.
Within the building is a lush semi-tropical environment, home to a wide variety of flora and – more importantly in this context – butterflies. These can be found circling the plants, while nearby signs offer information on the species you are seeing.
Following my initial visit to the Conservatory, I noted that it might be easier for those who have a hard time reading in-world text if the signs also acted as note card givers. As a result of that comment, Ry contacted me to say that’s exactly what would be done in the next update to the gardens – and it is an approach that has been continued through to this iteration; so do be sure to touch them as you follow the paths around to learn more about the butterflies that are to be found here.
The indoor gardens are beautifully laid out, with split level path leading visitors around them, a café, sculptures, water features and more. In addition, a branch of the path directs visitors to a wing of the building containing the Birds of Paradise aviary – a part of the Conservatory that I think is new to it; at least, I don’t recall it from my 2017 visit.
Outside of the main building are two further areas to be explored, one providing information on a number of species of beetles and bugs, the other on bees, and their importance to the world as a whole. With the latter – and again tooting my horn a moment – Ry has also followed through on my 2017 suggestion and provided more information on exactly why bees are such a vital part of the ecosystem.
What I found particularly pleasing about my original visit to the Butterfly Conservatory was its simple elegance in being both an informative and charming visit one can appreciate for both its content and the thought and care that has been put into its design and layout. This remains very much the case with this iteration as well; so if you’ve not been to the Butterfly Conservatory before – make sure to add it to your list of places to visit and enjoy; you won’t be disappointed.
- The Butterfly Conservatory (Exotic Isle, rated Moderate)