This summer while my cousins visited me, one of the many activities I planned included spending time walking through the simulated rain forest environment of a butterfly conservatory. I’ve been there a few times over the years but it always amazes me to see the beautifully patterned and colourful wings of the many species of butterflies collected there as they float around on their delicate wings. My cousin’s six-year-old was not as impressed as we were because she does not like ‘bugs’ as she called them, and especially the kind that can fly. Because of her fear, she stuck quite closely to her mother and declined to have any of the butterflies rest on her, as they often do with the many visitors that pass through the conservatory. I bought myself a display box with two beautiful Amazon Blue Morpho Butterflies and my cousins bought me a butterfly magnet as a birthday present.
Today’s InkTober prompt is ‘Collect’, and I know it may seem like a stretch to connect a butterfly conservatory to that word but that’s the memory that surfaced for me. I’m not sure I’m going to start collecting butterflies, although they are by far my favourite insect, most likely because to me they represent transformation. In addition to the conservatory, I recently saw a video of Daphne Guinness’ collection of beautiful butterfly boxes and butterfly inspired art in her Manhattan apartment. It was interesting to see how she used her collection of butterflies to beautify her living space and make it feel like home. Upon reflection, because of these encounters with butterflies in recent months it may not be so farfetched that the word ‘collect’ led me to think of these incredible creatures.