If you child pins butterflies to a board for display, stop this practice right now. I know it is common with curious youngsters, but why encourage the destruction of such beauty. It should no longer be a childhood hobby. I grew up loving the ephemeral creatures, but stopped at capturing them for eternity. As I matured, I incorporated my fixation into my fondness for gardening. If I can help preserve the butterflies while I produce fresh crops, it is so much better. In other words, I grow flowers and plants that support the native butterfly population. You can stop applauding me now. I do it out of love. These winged insects merit every effort to safeguard them.
I have my regular gardening practices. I plan out my space very carefully when various factors in mind. I research the subject and follow the recommended instructions as to what I need to plant and during what season. Right now, I am adding mulch and plant food to the soil. I hope it will help make the garden visually appealing with no weeds in sight. Nothing spoils a plot of land more than those ubiquitous and ever-present weeds. It is a daily chore as the plants turn from seeds to seedlings. Sometimes I spill a bit of potting soil in the garage as I carry an open bag outside. It’s a good thing I have a handy shop vac to tidy up when I’m finished in Woodwork Nation. Outdoor spills can be taken care of with a rake and a shovel. Yes, I am a bit of a neatnik as you might surmise. That’s why I bought the battery-operated vac in the first place. I use it all the time. I spill kitty litter, odds and ends from the trash, and sometimes seeds. I want nothing to mar the pristine beauty of my garage floor. Nor do I want anything to mar the pristine perfection of my garden—hence my obsession with weeds. I do it all by hand so as not to use any nasty toxins that could seep into the soil.
Now that my garden work is done for the day, I get out my digital camera and look for stray butterflies. Over the years, I have been able to capture many in flight. Real excitement comes when I capture more than one. If I get a good close-up or something captivating, I post it on Facebook and Instagram. I am gathering other butterfly-loving followers. I enjoy seeing their photos. Many are taken in backyards, but I love the ones in open fields. I collect these photos and have created a special butterfly album. Some are special such as those taken in the garden with butterflies on the wing right above. When one settles down, I approach it cautiously so as not to scare it away. It is a precious experience that makes my day. Gardening is practical, but butterfly gazing is an art.