We had a big outreach event over the weekend called Insectapalooza. It was a lot of fun; these kinds of events are always a great way to get people excited about insects (and nature in general). I spent the day near a bumblebee hive discussing the life history of bumblebees and other bees with hundreds of people. (I ended up calling bumblebees “winnie the pooh bees” because they build honey pots instead of honey combs.)
One of our rooms was a butterfly room. The kids love it, they can interact with butterflies and moths as they flit freely about. On one hand, I think this is great; the kids are super excited about them. But on the other hand, the insects do suffer a bit. These butterflies were from all over the world, so they can’t be released (and we are heading into winter so they would die if we did release them).
I asked for the opportunity to photograph them before they die (or in the case of the more traumatized ones, just after they did). I don’t know why, I guess I just wanted to preserve their beauty for a little longer.
Butterflies are very ephemeral things anyway. The adult stage does not usually last long, and they are bombarded by all sorts of threats and predators. But still, it is a bit sad to see them this way…
So here is my pictorial eulogy in honour of the beauty of these butterflies, that gave their lives to inspire a love of nature with the world.