Monday, March 8, 2010

The Butterfly cafe

We are struck by the malady of ostentious demonstrations : Which is having butterflies on display anytime of the day , anytime of the year. Why ? Well ! Blame it on Blaise !

I mean , the conservatory is designed like a sanctuary , not a zoo. In a sanctuary , you need patience , stealth and lots of luck to spot an animal . Zoo is , well , a Zoo - animal visuals guaranteed ! But then , they have baits and salt licks in sanctuaries. So it is luck by design.

So we are midst of designing a butterfly cafĂ© – a royal mud puddle treat. Where butterflies of various kind find solace and salt. A gathering for tired wings and thirsty probes – where the male clan shall gather and exchange notes on failed matings and broken thoraxes.

And so what do we serve ? Some initial test offerings of cowdung , common salt , rotten fruits , cashew fenny , some stale beer were left untested . A gang of grateful ants than devoured it all up . Birds took away the salads.

It was time to get the experts out of the woodwork . Col Baindur has given a whole lot of literature that will hold good stead .Urine is good , says Kishen Das . If one wants to vary that diet for the butterflies , all one has to do is vary one’s own. Save it up in one’s bladder ( fermenting it up the whole night is essential, mind you ) , rush to the watering hole in the morning and aim ! It may well get the butterflies , but we are afraid the aroma of a well developed Lepidoptera tea may upset the nasal sensibilities of the human visitors for whose benefit we are creating the spectacle in the first place. Still worth a try !

On an average day we would get 20 to 25 different winged wonders . But that fateful day , not one turned up. But Blaise did . With a few of his local friends . They were getting just introduced to the joys of butterfly watching . Unfortunately they didn’t get the joy at the conservatory .

Matter of luck , I said.

We see more butterflies in our garden, they said

Good if you see more butterflies outside than inside the conservatory. It means we are succeeding !

Yet it hurt - were we taking people for a ride ? A question we ask ourselves.

But now we want everyone to see some butterflies atleast . Most will, hopefully .

A few will choose to see our efforts instead. Those are the ones that keep us going

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