Thursday, October 9, 2008

attracting butterflies

Today I attended a lecture about butterflies. It was hosted by the Cherry Court Garden Club. It was the most interesting lecture not just because of the topic but because the speaker was extremely entertaining. Dr. Mario Canlas is a retired neurosurgeon who uses some of his time gardening orchids in a green house. His property apparently attracts butterflies and he and his wife have taken great measures to welcome these fascinating creatures into their lives.

What makes this doctor so amusing? Aside from his obvious passion. He has photo-documented, researched and eloquently explains the mating habits, the life cycle and their extraordinary method of becoming the royal creatures that they are.

He talks to his flies and they talk back. They lead him on a journey through his property and they show him the tiniest things that his observant eye has taken the time to catch on film. He lovingly referred to one of his flies as his girlfriend.


His little idiosyncrasies make him so amusing. He is a tall, handsome, older, Filipino gentleman with a bit of an accent who is somewhat challenged by computer technology. His passion to share with us and educate us never once was over shadowed by the occasional slip of a four letter word that would pass his lips when his software was not performing the way it was intended. Much to some of the mature ladies who at first seemed a little taken back then social moray demanded that one must simply overlook what he was actually saying.

His frustration simply took a backseat to his passion. He did however, understand on one level that it must be operator error but software shouldn't require an advanced degree to operated and this program was baffling. It was painful for him but delightful for his audience as we did not care. The education he provided us was like a fine gem.


We got to see the magic that he captured but in smaller images with the software's editing mode visible on the projection screen.

I truly wanted to help him but I had no idea from looking at it how it even worked. If it would have been a PowerPoint presentation I might have been able to offer some assistance.

I had to laugh at the very end when one of the members of the hosting garden club made a statement, "I can't wait to read the minutes at our next meeting."
None the less it was comical yet serious, very educational and utterly delightful. I learned how to determine the sex of a monarch butterfly. I saw the entire process from his identifying the attraction pheromone on the male, mating, egg laying, larvae, chrysalis, on to glorious butterfly.

The monarch above in this series of photos I took a few years back is a female. Until this day I would not have been able to identify the sex.

I am not sure what this butterfly is but I feel certain that Dr. Canlas would know. I hope I get the opportunity to hear him speak again. He was fabulous.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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