So we are on week 2 of PODcast‘s new linky Alphabet Photography Project. I had a whole list of things for B! Baby, book, bible (a family history post for the future there), black, blue, bravery, and then my mind turned to bugs and minibeasts. My childhood, and Monkey’s too. So my Alphabet Photography Project B is for Butterfly.
When I was a little girl I’d watch Dad at his bug table AKA our dining table. He’d have his setting boards, the tiniest pins you have seen in your life, a magnifying glass and his angle poise lamp on. He was ready to set a dead butterfly. Yes, he loves bugs and mini beasts, sometimes he rears them, and sometimes they would end up in his collection. I would sit and watch him prepare a butterfly which would eventually end up in his large collection, in a display case. Painstaking set, classified, dated and location noted. My Dad has the patience of a saint. It was a work of art in motion. This photo is of a moth Dad set whilst we were in Spain last year, but it gives you an idea.
I have been fascinated with butterflies all my life, my brother and I were taught to respect nature. We were taught how to use proper butterfly nets, taught not to damage these beautiful beasts, taught to let the vast majority go!
You may not agree with collecting butterflies and other insects. But actually I think it’s an important necessity. Dad has collected them since he was a small boy, he has shown me and now Monkey, butterflies that you can no longer find in this country. Lost to us, not because of people like Dad who loved them, but to progress, to the world we live in.
As children we’d often visit a place called Black Pond, near Esher with Dad. It’s somewhere he’d been bug hunting for years. I remember it as somewhere with an abundance of butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies. Dad would record countless beasts in his record book every time we visited. He went back a couple of years ago on a trip to England. I remember him being so depressed afterwards. Black Pond is still there, but not as we’d remember it, certainly not as Dad remembered it from his youth. He spent hours there, and saw no butterflies at all.
I spent so much of my childhood chasing after butterflies, trying to identify the species,were they male or female, taking it for granted that I’s always be surrounded by them. Times have changed, yes I still see butterflies in my garden, but not like we did when we were kids.
So without his records and collection (and other’s like him) we’d have nothing to show our children of the natural world of our own childhood.
The butterfly in this photo was taken at a Butterfly Park in Swindon (post to follow soon), it’s not native to this country, but you have to wonder if somewhere in the world, the same thing is happening, a grandfather is talking to a grandson about a native species that is no longer seen.
18 thoughts on “Alphabet Photography Project B is for Butterfly #alphabetphoto”
Your childhood sounds so wonderful. I love bugs and lose far too much time photographing them. Especially this time of year. I’ve never met anyone who pins them, although I have seen the cases on show. Fascinating. Beautiful butterfly. #AlphabetPhoto
It is sad that we have lost the butterfly’s to progress, I can remember almost being able to walk through the fields behind my Nan and catch them in your hands there were so many. I got excited the other day because there was 1 in my garden! I think your Dad is preserving a lost and forgotten art form, and one that will help us to understand and hopefully preserve what we have left or we may loose them too. Lovely picture.
Great that your dad taught you so much, it’s such as shame we don’t see as many butterflies as we used to. I love your first photo. #alphabetphoto
How lovely – it must have been fascinating to watch your Dad. I love Butterflies and have a charm bracelet with one on – I feel like it is a symbol of transformation. I also believe in them being spirits. There is a tale of one being at my old drama group – Mrs Cordes – as we performed in the Cordes Hall. It was thought to be an honour if she appeared at one of the shows and she showed up at the Panto I directed several times!! #alphabetphoto.
It’s so sad that we don’t see as many butterflies as we used to. I’m trying to ‘do my bit’ to encourage them into my garden and mine and a neighbour’s buddleia seem to be doing the trick 😉
Such a lovely post. Me and mine have a love of butterflies too. They are such beautiful, fascinating creatures x
Sounds fascinating watching your Dad as a child. It is sad that there doesn’t seem to be as many butterflies around now as when I was a child.
Awww so pretty! I havent seen any ones in the gardens here! This butterfly is massive too! #alphabetphoto
Sounds like u had a cool childhood growing up not only appreciating nature but know what to look for and where and the fact u cash pass that knowledge is pretty cool too
You’ve taken a great shot of that butterfly.
I totally agree about not seeing as many species of butterflies these days, we get the Monarchs, Cabbage Whites and the odd Peacock (which of course turns up when I don’t have my camera to hand!).
The colours in that shot are so vivid and wonderful!
A beautiful shot of a beautiful butterfly. It’s lovely that your Dad’s passion has been passed down to future generations
I love this post Mary! I can just imagine how disheartened your grandfather was discovering no butterflies at Black Pond. And how he taught you to notice and appreciate the small wonders of nature.
Oh wow Mary what an incredible story. Must have been absolutely fascinating to sit with your dad – what wonderful memories. I love butterflies too, almost ended up being my B until Poppy took so long trying to master bubble blowing! Wonderful post, thank you so much for sharing and joining in #alphabetphoto
Oh wow, what a lovely story behind the photos. How does he preserve them?
Wow that’s beautiful x
How lovely that you have continued your dad’s passion. A beautiful shot – just lovely xx #alphabetphoto
Your photo is absolutely stunning, I love the contrast of colours between the flower and the butterfly. I think it’s so sad that we are losing nature; you are very lucky that your Dad has been able to share some of it with you 🙂