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The Butterfly Place in Westford brings generations of visitors closer to nature

The Butterfly Place in Massachusetts brings a "spiritual peace" to visitors
The Butterfly Place in Massachusetts brings a "spiritual peace" to visitors 03:02

WESTFORD – Not far off Interstate 495 in Westford, there's a place that will make you forget all about the hustle and bustle of the highway. More specifically, The Butterfly Place.

"I love watching people's faces when they first come in," insect curator Alana Archangelo said.

Archangelo grew up in Westford and said she can still remember when The Butterfly Place first opened its doors in 1989.

"I saw the black swallowtail caterpillars and I was like 'I have to work here,'" Archangelo said. 

Tropical conditions in Massachusetts

It's easy to see why. The bright atrium is filled with hundreds of butterflies from around the world as well as tropical plants. The temperature in the facility is also a tropical 82 degrees as butterflies need the heat to fly.

What do you butterflies do for people?

"Well, they can be relaxing. Some people put a spiritual piece to butterflies. They feel close to the universe or to nature - they take it as a message," Archangelo said.

How long do butterflies live?

The beautiful creatures only have a life cycle of about two weeks. The older the butterfly, the more tattered their wings.

So each week, Archangelo receives a shipment of a few hundred new butterflies. She said it's a good reminder to slow down and enjoy life.

"Here, you have the ability to just sit and absorb," Archangelo said. "I try to really focus on come in and relax and soak up and rejuvenate."

How to attract butterflies at your home

While some visitors sit, others yell with excitement.

"Oftentimes there will be adults with littles and they'll say 'I came when I was this age' and I'm so grateful every single day that we are here to have that next generation come," Archangelo said.

If you want to put out some butterfly food in your own yard, it's pretty simple. Archangelo said all you need is a cup, a little dish sponge and some sugar water. But remember, it's going to attract other bugs too.

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