I can really remember some moments when I was a nine-year-old cycling on my pink bike to the end of the street to a garden with a lot of buddleya-bushes that attracted them.
There were so many different sorts those days!
I knew all the Dutch sorts by heart.
Nowadays, when on holiday for example, I love to visit butterlygardens. (Although they can be really touristy, with giftshops and misery like that).
But the sights of so many big, coloured tropical ones just flying so close to you, it takes my breath away.
As a girl my number one wish was that a butterfly would land on me. And so it happened one day.
In butterfly-gardens that happens more often, but still it is a experience that makes me truly happy.
Don't move now...don't breath....don't blink my eyes.....careful, careful to extend this moment as long as I can...
This encounter with a big blue australian sort is actually on Curacao, Dutch Antilles. And I visited a butterfly garden in South Africa as well.
Isn't it ironic? Here in Holland we've got a beautiful big butterfly garden, but I've never been there!
In my class I breed butterflies every once in a while. We can buy little eggs at the nature and environment-center here. Then it's just a matter of feeding a lot of cabbage and keep their environment (a transparant box so we can follow the process very well) clean. And one day one of the children discovers that the first caterpillar is developed into a nice butterfly. Those weeks butterflies are 'born' everyday, and we release them outside on the playground. They really sit on your finger at that stage!
Wonder who loves these moments most, the children or the teacher?
I teach children with learning and behaviour problems or disabilities, and there can be some tough guys amongst them. But one day when releasing the butterflies I see those guys move around with these animals very, very carefully. Whispering to other kids: "sssst, don't do anything, don't shout, otherwise it will die!"
Those little creatures can achieve behaviour with these tough kids that I cannot (or at least not as often as I would like to....)
So I just observe those little moments and smile.