Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Butterflies!

During a recent docent shift at the Conservatory, I almost clouseau'd a woman in the belly to prevent her from crushing a Spicebush Swallowtail to death. My arm moved just in front of her mid-section as she bent forward to, hand outstretched, touch a Julia resting on a leaf. Her right foot moved toward the Swallowtail, but the, sort of, karate-chop motion I made at her torso forced the woman to pull her foot back. 'Right by your foot is the lovely Spicebush...'

I apologised for nearly gutting her with my arm, but she ignored me and moved off in search of more butterflies to touch/crush. It's usually kids who run around trying to grab at the butterflies, but, sadly, this wasn't my first brush with adults behaving badly. There must be something that switches off in the brain of certain people when they are near beautiful butterflies. I make a point of mentioning to the visitors how delicate the butterflies are and how prolonged contact with our skin adversely affects their ability to detect nectar. (The long and short of it is that the oils in our skin block the taste sensors located in their feet.) Even after being given this information, some folk still seem to feel compelled to touch them/try to pick up butterflies. Alas.

When one enters the butterfly exhibit, I also make mention of the fact that one needs to look down when moving through the enclosure as more than a few butterflies are normally perched along the ground. They don't wear bells around their necks, so it's up to us to look out for them. Some folk become overly cautious, stepping gingerly around the exhibit. Others...well.... During a shift, I normally have to scrape at least two butterflies off the ground and dispose of them in the nearby shrubbery.

The outstanding Question Mark smartly resting above the ground.

8 comments:

  1. That's terrible. Why some people don't listen to warnings...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is. It also doesn't help that some of the butterflies have a color scheme that blends into the color of the flooring. :(

      Delete
  2. Sigh. Look but don't touch. And defiitely don't crush. Butterflies (and moths) are ephemeral magic. Precious ephemeral magic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. We have had a couple of months at the exhibit as well. One in particular, the Luna moth, looked almost like two green leaves lying on top of one another. -really spectacular. During the day the moths are inactive & mercifully away from grabby hands.

      Delete
  3. HIyah! Just found my way back and found your email, yay! Good job saving those butterflies, they are so lovely!! Much love from afar
    -D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, D! Good to see you 'round these parts!

      Delete
  4. And their lives pass so quickly anyway. They are wonders.

    ReplyDelete

A piece of your mind here:

Featured Post

Don't judge a Google card by its cover.