I’ve had an exceptionally busy week, so unfortunately, this post is late. It is also archive that I’ve been saving for a time like this. When I was in Michigan visiting family and the Sleeping Bear Dunes, I also visited the butterfly house in Traverse City. It was not quite ready to open at that point. My uncle works for the local MSU extension office in the area. As a result, he and my aunt got to know the young couple who own and run the butterfly house.
Unfortunately, we arrived on a sad day for them. Many of their butterflies had died due to pesticides. I did not realize this, but most plants purchased at greenhouses and box stores have pesticides on them or in the soil. These pesticides kill butterflies as well as undesirable insects. Of course, the owners of the butterfly house knew this. They had asked the company they purchased the plants from specific questions about pesticides. However, the answers they got did not match with the plants they got. Fortunately, not all of the butterflies were out of their cocoons yet, and all of the fruit feeding butterflies were fine.
They look rather drab on the outside, but inside, these butterflies have brilliant blue wings.
I did not touch the butterflies. They are delicate, and you have to know how to handle them so as not to hurt them. Others in our group did know how and had permission.
The butterflies can and do land on people. They have signs on the way out of the enclosure asking guests to check for hitchhikers. Since my dad is a quite and steady type, the butterflies liked him.
Despite the sad death of some of the butterflies that day, I enjoyed visiting the butterfly house and photographing the butterflies. Perhaps I will be able to go back someday or visit another butterfly house. In the meantime, I should do some pesticide research.
Next Time: End of Archive?
I’ve a three-day weekend coming up, so hopefully I’ll be able to shoot something.