Aug 25, 2019

I’ve been remiss. I’d promised myself to post at least one blog a week, but I haven’t because I’ve been traveling recently. It all started with searching online for the most beautiful image of a luna moth I could find—an impulse prompted, I suspect, by my latest blogs about my father. In a way, I think, the luna moth has always been a symbol of my childhood to me—the happiest part. In my journal I wrote:

For the past few weeks I’ve been on a butterfly hunting expedition—from early morning until late at night. I’ve been journeying to the wildest and most remote reaches of the planet, including the Amazon rainforest, where my father once wielded his butterfly net, though I’m traveling online rather than on foot. Like him, I’m creating my own collection of butterflies and moths—a digital rather than material one.

In the beginning, I didn’t anticipate the unrelenting fervor I would feel about this project or my undiminished excitement over every new discovery. At the outset I thought it was nostalgia for my childhood that had prompted my foray into the realm of “beautiful bugs,” but now I’ve begun to suspect it’s something more—that this love of color and pattern is in my DNA, just as it was in my dad’s. (There’s a reason I collected so many hundreds of fabric swatches while I was making doll clothes for Arielle and Emma, experiencing a rush with every “find.”)

And just as my father went through the painstaking work of mounting the best specimens, I’m engaged in the painstaking process of editing—in Photoshop—many of the photos I happen upon, repairing worn or tattered wings, enhancing color, or altering the backgrounds to better showcase these natural works of art on my Pinterest board “Beautiful Bugs.”