Russ & Daughters and...
Morning at MOMA

#AMNH - Butterflies are gone for now but...

I thought I'd share this with a larger universe...
Sc0006a433So my great-niece R loves butterflies. She got up close and personal with them on a trip to the American Museum of Natural History a few months ago. Yesterday, I told her mother, my niece , my favorite NY Times  Metropolitan Diary story about a butterfly from the exhibit that went on a field trip. I used to tell the story when stuck in traffic on double decker buses near the museum. My niece asked me to find the original story and I did. It is from a gentler time before 9/11 . The postcard is from even longer ago.

Dear Diary:

The Museum of Natural History stocks a range of souvenirs for its exhibit of live tropical butterflies, but airborne samples are not among them. In that spirit, as we left the Butterfly Conservatory one recent evening, my friend Liza and I checked our clothes for hitchhikers. It was thus a surprise to discover after arriving home, a block away, an elegant mothlike creature flying room to room. What to do? The museum had closed for the night and the Costa Rican houseguest (Hamadryas februa, gender indeterminate, a k a gray cracker) was now our responsibility. There was no enticing it into the chilly New York air. In the end we lured it, via an empty Chinese food tray laced with New Zealand honey and Vermont syrup, into a bathroom steamed up to near-sauna temperature. Morning found the stowaway happily asleep, wings spread on the damp wall.

And so, the three of us marched down Central Park West to the conservatory. The curators said it was the first time an escapee had returned. The gray cracker, meanwhile, wasted little time rejoining friends — no doubt regaling them with tales of a wider world with sunlight, skyscrapers and not enough flowers.

D. G. Feuchtwanger


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)