This event was held a month later after the first "breakfast with Butterflies" ;
The Butterfly conservatory of Goa, at Pisgal, Ponda is a place tucked away in the vast Keri Hills, a place butterflies and Rohit Heblekar call it their home.
This program was different from the last one not in the nature of the program but because it started with breakfast first for me, Amit and Hazrat thanks to Mrs Joyti Heblekar.
The guest and members assembled in the Conservatories newly built Reception Centre, Rohit with his usual zeal and passion explained to the guest the importance of butterflies in the ecosystem and the structure of the conservatory, which involves garden which has a variety of host plants which acts as breeding places for the butterflies and the feeder and the flowering plants which sustain the caterpillars and butterflies in the adult stages. The butterflies does not get all the nutrients from the nectar alone so they soak the deficient nutrients from damp soil this activity is called mud puddling.
Rohit then brought out some caterpillars and a pupa of a Common crow butterfly, the pupa was shinny golden in colour. It looked like a newly made gold pendant remarked one of the ladies, none of us had ever seen anything like it before.Rohit also announced the opening of the stream which is 25 meters long, arguable it could qualify for the longest man made stream in Goa.
The participants were divided into two groups one led by Rohit and the other led by me. The butterfly observation began in earnest, the Tamil lacewing the grand was first to make an appearance, the pair of Malabar Banded Peacocks courtship dance stole everybody’s heart, Southern Birdwing the Mr. Big floated effortlessly over our heads. Amit and I took up the challenge of identifying the small butterflies of the Blues and skipper families, we were lucky to get some great shots of a Quaker, a Cerulean, Plains Cupid and a Small Branded Swift.
Rohit and his wards had equally good sightings of the winged beauties. At 10.30 am Rohit called for an intermission and served snacks. He popped a bottle of Coke and poured me a drink as if it were Champagne, his sweaty face shining with satisfaction of a man who has worked hard and the sweet fruits of his hard work now enjoyed by everybody.
After a short break began round two, the time was about 10.45 am by this time the conservatory was flooded with sunlight and was alive with butterflies the Tailed Jays, Dark Wanders, Laskars, Grey Pansy, Red Helen, Common Jezebel, Tamil Lacewing, Common Sailors, Common Rose, Striped Tiger, Glassy Tiger, Spotted Grass Yellow, Common Emigrant, Chocolate Pansy, Malabar Banded Peacocks and more were busy feeding on nectar the display was mesmerizing.
Then the royalty made an appearance the Red Spot Duke, the Grey Count, a Cruiser, and finally the Great Black Rajah. The tally was 39 species and the total count was 88 butterflies.
The participants assembled at the reception centre for the closing of the program, Rohit thanked everybody with a promise to upgrade soon. Not that anybody could find any fault with Rohit and his families hospitality, the participant showered praise on his laudable effort all evident in the visitors book.
These winged beauties have pleased the dwellers of this earth long before man came into existence but looks like we have not served them well, by the indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides and deforestation the very existence of butterflies now stands threatened. We members of the Butterfly Conservatory of Goa through such sensitization programs wish to get the message across.
Jagdish Katkar. email@example.com