Magic Wings is best known as a butterfly sanctuary, but in this digital exclusive curator Fred Gagnon shows Connecting Point producer Brian Sullivan some of the other interesting creatures at the facility that don’t receive the same fanfare as the butterflies. He also discusses what keeps him motivated to come to work every day. 

Learn more about Magic Wings by watching our full interview on the butterfly conservatory.

This story originally aired on January 13, 2022.


Read the transcript:

Fred Gagnon, Magic Wings: And from what I know of it, it was it was planned to be a butterfly conservatory. I got wind of it when I was working at a garden center in Fitchburg, actually.

And I made a phone call and said, “Do you have somebody set up to be the curator or somebody to do the butterflies?”

And they hadn’t quite had the staff picked out yet. So, I came in with a suit and tie and a cage full of all, and I showed them how I can breed moths.

And they were kind of looking at me like, “Oh, OK! It looks like, you know what you’re doing. So yeah, you can start in a couple of weeks.” So I started pretty soon after I came in for the interview.

I’ve had a lot of frogs and things as pets since I was a kid, so I kind of brought a lot of them here just as something for people to look at. And it was something that they were very interested in, so we kept expanding on that.

So, we try to get some creatures of really, you know, pretty colors and something that stands out and like, that’s one of the things we’re about is things that are astonishing, either really well camouflaged that you would never see or something that’s really bright colors you wouldn’t normally see in nature. And we try to show people all that.

It kind of gives them also a room where they can kind of, you know, — it’s air conditioned in the summertime, so they can cool down and still enjoy looking at something while they’re in between the conservatory. This is something that I would have done and would be doing for fun, anyway. So don’t tell the bosses, but I do it for free! But I mean, just kidding.

But but no, I literally I go home in the summertime and I take care of caterpillars and things in my own yard. So I mean, I love doing it and, you know, I think about it at night and I planned my next day every day. And pretty much I’m here almost every day in the summertime and a lot of the days in the winter.

So, I just love being here.