MexicoDoug at aol.com MexicoDoug at aol.com
Thu Apr 11 13:29:58 EDT 2002

Dear P.s,

As you do touch on an area wide open for interpretation for the closed 
minded, pranksters and fascists among us, or for that matter maybe you are 
one such person (The only reason I say this is because usually we identify 
ourselves better than you have, although perhaps in this case you'd rather 
not) who thinks this is a joke...I will give my impression taking the 
"performance" you plan seriously.

If this is your way to come in contact with nature, I see nothing 'mental' 
about it, as suggested, and the only pervert so far has been Neil, in the 
sense that he seems to assign "Mariposa" meanings it doesn't have (In all 
fairness, it was reputed to have this perverted meaning by a recent book 
which may or may not be Neil's source).  And the fact that some Lepsters are 
patrolling the list for females simply indicates they are in need of 
something they may not get enough of...

On to the positive...On ocassions in the field, after an exhausting day of 
running around (and getting sweaty of course, as noted), I will sit and rest 
and butterflies land on whatever exposed part of my body, or damp clothes 
they want and are happy to scuttle around.  If you haven't experienced this 
sensation, it would be worthwhile getting acustomed to.  I imagine that 
hundreds of b-flies over every part of the body, including the erogenous 
zones might be too much for someone who is very ticklish.  However, in 
isolation, under lest fabricated conditions, one or a few butterflies landing 
on you when you are in the butterflies' natural habitat, surrounded by 
nature, host plants does have a wonderful uplifting feeling. A way to bond 
with nature in ways that many others will never know.  Perhaps the 
interesting part is the entire experience of such fragile and beautiful 
creatures.  Nabokov loved what I describe and maybe wrote his autobiography 
with this in mind, as well as used it as an inspiration for others.

You mention recently emerged butterflies.  As has been interpreted, it sounds 
like you will have bred (or perhaps collected) the crysalids.  If you expect 
500 individuals to emerge at the same time, you really will need a whole lot 
more to meet your time window.  It is an iffy proposition, as you would need 
to enclose those as the emerge and wait to build your population to the level 
you need.  The breeders seem to have success with Monarchs more than anything 
else, so, first you will need to figure out the species.  As most b-flies 
emerge in the early morning hours, and may take time to begin movement, 
coinciding with activity of other butterflies as well, probably the best time 
is when the Sun is about 25% into the day.  That corresponds to about 10 AM 
here, maybe a little earlier at midsummer in Estonia where you appear to have 
your performance scheduled.  Regarding the emerged butterflies, they will be 
much more docile than normal ones.  This is a double edged sword as they may 
just hang their , though they won't go anywhere too quickly.

The best idea might be to convince a local butterfly house, if there are any, 
to allow you to do the performance in their installations.  Perhaps, you want 
to cover strategic portions of your body with flower petals.  No harm in 
adding some natural nectar and accompanying fragrances of favorite nectar 
sources where you are.  Someone else can probably guide you better on your 
local flora if you need help.  If you really want to get esoteric, you might 
experiment with pheramones that are probably available in the scientific 
community (a post-inquiry on this list would work), though you might get the 
opposite effect desired among the male subsample of butterflies, as this 
chemicals naturally tend to be used in relative quantity by the male, for 
common species like the Monarch.

Finally, a little behavioral study on your part could be helpful.  Some 
butterflies are more nervous and active than others.  You can become 
mesmerized in the field when a red admiral, lands on you and when normally 
very nervous, suddenly forgets everything because of the sweat source he 
finds on you.  You could touch the butterfly and it would keep clasping and 
feeding.  Some blues walk a lot more and really can't seem to make up their 

This, done carefully, could be an interesting strategy, done in good taste, 
to open a butterfly house, or shore up some business.  But if earning a 
living is not your motive, perhaps making an ecological statement, I am sure 
there are plently of serious reasons one could conjure to do this activity.  
Sure sounds more fun than climbing a mountain with a portable paramedics and 
oxygen to put a banner on top.  So I suppose maybe you could even get 
satisfaction doing it because you may be the first to document it. It might 
even be a new art form, who knows!  There is always Guiness' Book, so perhaps 
if you do it for the recognition you could be the person with the most 
butterflies feeding on the body simultaneously.

Best luck,
Doug Dawn 
Monterrey, Mexico

En un mensaje con fecha 04/11/2002 11:12:17 AM Central Daylight Time, 
rjparcelles at yahoo.com escribe:

<< Asunto:   Re: Butterfly-performance
 Fecha: 04/11/2002 11:12:17 AM Central Daylight Time
 From:  rjparcelles at yahoo.com (Bob Parcelles,Jr.)
 Sender:    owner-leps-l at lists.yale.edu
 Reply-to:  rjparcelles at yahoo.com
 To:    hybrid9 at yahoo.com, leps-l at lists.yale.edu, 
naturepotpourri at yahoogroups.com (Newsletter Nature Potpourri)
 --- "P.s" <hybrid9 at yahoo.com> wrote:
 > Dear all,
 > A strange request...In june I will be doing a performance, and it
 > involves the use of ca. 500 butterflies. In short, I will be
 > sitting
 > still, naked and covered in a sugarsolution, attracting hopefully
 > newly emerged butterflies brought for the purpose, to come and land
 > on
 > me since I am covered in sugarsolution. This will happen either
 > inside
 > or outside, not decided yet, however, it will only last about half
 > an
 > hour or so.
 > Now, I dont know how to go about it, in order not to inflict damage
 > either do the butterflies or the local habitat. I believe local
 > specimens is imperative, without knowing for sure (Estonia).
 > How can I do this in the best way?
 > Any help would be greatly appreciated,
 Hmmmmmmm! Quite a performance! May I ask is this a public or a
 semi-private, more *discreet* performance. The reason I ask there are
 several variables.
 1) How much of you do you wish to cover? I for instance would need
 LARGE butterflies.
 2) How LARGE are you? Are you male or female? Oh, I see from your e
 mail address, you are a "hybrid".
 3) Do you have a permit for this?
 4) Do you intend to wear this "buttefly shirt" for a while, since
 some species are more active than others? Are you going to be moving
 around? Why can you only last a half hour or so?
 5) Is this exibition, excuse me ...performance, inside or outside? I
 ask this because outside can be risky. Does Estonia have large,
 painful ants? 
 6) I know of breeders who can doe this but it takes time and money.
 Do you have much time? do you have any money? You know butterfies are
 not for free. I ask this because I have a fear that you may not be
 gainfully employed. I fear, quite frankly, that you may not have much
 time before the men in white suits with the nets might "collect" you
 and return you to your mental hospital. 
 I have I last question...Are you Rene Boutin? :)
 Bob Parcelles, Jr
 Pinellas Park, FL
 RJP Associates, C2M-BWPTi
 rjparcelles at yahoo.com
 "Change your thoughts and you change your world."
 - Norman Vincent Peale


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