Monday, April 23, 2012

The Funny Thing About Butterflies

It's always a treat to work at Butterfly Magic in the Tucson Botanical Gardens, but I have to admit that it stresses me out at times.  Why?  How would butterflies stress me out?  You may ponder a bit as I tell you the tales about the taboos of inappropriate butterfly touching......
In previous posts, I've shown you highlights with butterflies on plants, told you about the plants that butterflies like, and even had shots of them flying.  But today I'm going to take a turn to the darkside as I tell you about several experiences I've had while working at this place and I'm hoping some random people who search this on google will discover several of the do's and don'ts of entering this sanctuary.  Butterfly Magic runs until the end of April at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.
Here are some rules that people often forget while inside this place.  NUMERO UNO.  NEVER touch a butterfly.  Adults that goes for you.  Watch your kids because several of them like to naturally pick up the fragile insects and handle them.  I also caught several adults attemping the same shenanigans!  When I turn my back, they are doing it again.  When another volunteer tells them the same thing....and they still do it......I pull out the Jersey girl.....Mary.  She sets everyone straight.  It's a Jersey thing.:)  If she pulls you out of the house, good luck. 
I never know what shots will turn out at Butterfly Magic, but I certainly know when a photo presents itself.  It was a cold rainy day in March before the visitors arrived and while spraying down the plants, these Pink Rose Butterflies landed on the orchard to sun themselves!  Perfection.  I took about 20 shots and I was only happy with two due to slighly blurred images on the rest.
When school busses with small little children visit.  Oh anxiety!  Children are naturally curious and we want to feed that curiosity so we ask parent volunteers and teachers to please pay attention to your kids and students.  No texting or facebooking while in the greenhouse...plus why would you want to?   I watched as "Tomboy Sally" muscled her way through other kids picking up butterflies while a mother was texting someone.  When I spoke with this adult, she simply shrugged her shoulders and ignored me. Bad move.  I called Mary and she pulled "Tomboy Sally" out with the adult.  They were never seen again. It's a Jersey thing.
The Monarch
Essentially there are 3 posts inside the greenhouse. 1. The Entrance.  2. The Interpreter and 3. The Exit Person.  I like the entrance as it is rather easy to go over the rules and collect tickets. Watch where you step and if they land on you, it's okay:) Plus it's nice and cool with little possibility of butterflies escaping.  The Interpreter is the one job I'm getting better at. It has taken me a year to get comfortable identifying butterflies on sight.  This is the one where you tell others about the tropical butterflies.  Most people will ask and I'll answer.  However, if someone doesn't ask, I let them absorb the experience on their own.  Some people don't want their spaces violated with information that they could care less about.....so I stand nearby ready to assist if someone has a question. But I think the worst post is the Exit person.  You have to stand by the door and check everyone as they leave.  Awkward moments galore here people. And as a man, I am not too crazy about them.
Paper Kite
Take the case of this young couple.  They are ready to leave and I have my butterfly brush in case any get on their purses or clothes.  Normally it's not an issue, but during this day, a Morphos would land right on the lady's chest and in an area that is not appropriate for another man to brush.  The boyfriend replies, "Looks like this butterfly has the right idea." and begins to move her female parts around in front of me.  I stand at the exit staring off onto the other side of the building(where I see the boy picking up a butterfly with this hands!) And I'm stuck because the interpreter is busy lecturing.  Meanwhile, the Morphos leaves her chest and they both giggle.  I look back at them.  Help them exit and go after the little boy who I had told several times NOT to touch or pick up the butterflies.
A visitor asks me, "Do you ever have any angry people in here?"  Of course she referred to other visitors, but it took me a sec.  "Never." I reply, but had she asked about volunteers......well I would have lied:)  If a butterfly lands on you, it's okay but remember to never pick them up:) And also watch where you step because they do like to "puddle" on the ground.  And remember, if I have to call Mary on you.........:)

15 comments:

Ragged Robin said...

Beautiful photos Chris and looks a wonderful place to visit. I rather like "Butterfly World" type places. But I can see why as a volunteer you would find it rather stressful! Its awful that people would try and pick butterflies up they are so so delicate. Good job you have Mary around :)

Robin said...

So, what are you saying about us Jersey Girls? :)
Yes, I am a Jersey transplant...North Jersey farm girl though!

Great pics and great post!

Jill said...

Go Mary! =)

Stunning photos. The black ones on the white is gorgeous!

TexWisGirl said...

stressful butterflies. i can totally see that! :)

Chris Rohrer said...

:) It was a quote from a TV show that the kids were using around school to explain their bad behavior:) I laughed a lot after watching the episode. I'd glad to say I have several Jersey friends:)

Gaelyn said...

Excellent captures. It's not easy being the bad guy but very important to teach the rules.

Laurence Butler said...

"Inappropriate Butterfly Touching." I don't know that I've ever read or heard that sequence of words before...I have to admit, I was in suspense as to where this article was leading, if the butterflies touched you inappropriately, etc.

I'm glad you're ok. It looks like a great exhibit.

Chris Rohrer said...

That is correct. A butterfly can inappropriately touch you....just not the other way around:) I wish I could have snapped a shot by the exit door for everyone to get a good laugh. Kid looking back and picking up butterfly while one lands on the lady's chest. Working in the exhibit is always an adventure:)

RoeH said...

Kudos to you! That would drive me crazy trying to watch every little (and big) hand. So fun to be in there, though.

Magpie said...

These are gorgeous shots. Tracy, Kathy and I really enjoyed the Butterfly Garden at the Botanical Gardens here in Phoenix the year we went. I wish people could just follow the rules.

Kathy said...

Good advice!

tracy said...

Hahaha! Does Mary from New Jersey wear capris? :-)

I love love the butterflies on the orchid, Chris!

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Oh my. Every "job" has its downside. Good advice to remind everyone of.
Your photos of the Pink Rose Butterflies is awesome.

sweetbay said...

Some people just aren't very smart, and so the Marys of this world are necessary. :)

laurak@forestwalkart said...

i guess even working in such a COLORFUL and cheery environment...has its downside at times too!

(it does kind of suck though...when you run into these types of people that just don't care! rules? what are they? don't handle the butterflies? why? >> SOME people....)