Monday, June 1, 2009


There are few things in nature that are generally agreed upon by all people as perfectly acceptable to admire. Butterflies have to be one of them - everyone from young children (who can quickly become obsessed, and collect them, and maybe ask for them for christmas, cough, cough) to older men (especially those equipped with cameras) seem to love butterflies. One of the fortunate things about going to Iowa State University is that, as a student, I have full access to the Reiman Butterfly Gardens. For free admission (although I suppose it could be part of my tuition), I can go and look at the butterflies all I want, and, of course, spend however long I want photographing them. Although taking pictures of butterflies is sort of cliche, they are a lot of fun to capture on film! So photogenic! 

Reiman Gardens is really cool because they show the chrysalis case out front, so that you can look at all the chrysali before they hatch. Some of them were hatching while I was there - I have pictures in my flickr, in addition to the luna moth picture I've got to the left of this. They have well over thirty or forty species of butterfly at the Gardens, and they don't just have a butterfly house, either, but a whole host of indoor and outdoor displays.

The best part was trying to capture a Blue Morpho butterfly that kept flitting around - no luck, though. They close their wings as soon as they touch any surface! One of the 'butterfly handlers' informed me that some of the moths don't even eat during their life cycle. They hatch as larvae, eat then, and once they emerge from their cocoons, the larger moths sometimes don't eat at all - they live only a few days, and only live to breed. For me, there's a sort of loveliness in that very purposeful existence.

I especially love the moths. I know, as a knitter, that 'loving moths' is probably a taboo. It's an unspeakable - we pray that those horrible little clothing moths never get into our houses, and eat all our yarn, and ruin all our hard work. Believe me, I don't feel any differently. But how can you hate a moth that is almost twice the size of your hand and fuzzy all over it's little round body and antennae? You can't. Because they're awesome.

1 comment:

  1. I love moths too, especially the luna moths. Shhh, don't tell! Your photos are awesome.


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