By Wilma Felton-Gray
Enchantment is only a word, but when used to describe a butterfly conservatory, even that word fails to thoroughly describe the experience of exploring the Joseph L. Popp, Jr Butterfly Conservatory in Oneonta.
Open since Mother’s day of this year, many are unaware of this wonderful day trip, so close to home. Inside the area that was once the indoor swimming pool of the former Stone House Farm, one is drawn into the enchanting world of tropical free flying butterflies, exotic plants, birds, fish and more. Chances are you may have one of the grandiose butterflies land on you and hitchhike through the rest of the tour as you meander through the paths of the indoor conservatory herbarium.
It was an unforgettable experience on the day we went. We toured the botanical gardens among hundreds of free flying butterflies from around the world. I had three different species of butterflies tour with me, one on my finger and two on my back. My husband Tom, gained a new hairpiece, as photographed. The butterfly landed on his head and as I snapped the shutter the butterfly spread his wings, as if on cue, to display the beautiful iridescent blue-green colors hidden within the wings, when folded together. We marveled and were enchanted at the spectacular display.
The Joseph L Popp, Jr Butterfly Conservatory is located at 5802 St Hwy 7, just outside the city limit of Oneonta, about 2 miles past the Farm House Restaurant on the right- going toward Cooperstown. They are open year round 9 to 5 pm 7 days a week, except holidays. So if you like to experience a few hours in pure tropical enchantment, you will be delighted to visit, maybe more than once. For more information and admission fees call 607-435-1147.
Note: Many readers will remember that I, as a graduate of Travel and Tourism and Business Management was for several years, Director of Chenango County Tourism where I endeavored to promote the area attractions of Chenango County. During this time I was also involved with Central Leatherstocking Regional Tourism developing many cohesive partners of the region, thereby enabling cross promotion. I mention this only because the Butterfly Conservatory is part of the Leatherstocking Region. So as my first love, I still enjoy researching and sharing my experiences with others. For the past few years I have been enveloped in history as a viable tourism experience with the Chenango Land Trust Tours. I still enjoy informing others of places to visit and things to see. In a nutshell, telling people where to go, in a nice way of course.