The trouble we have with the Annual Butterfly Release is that we have to fix a date. The caterpillars are sent to us at a particular stage in development so that they will ready for release as butterflies on a particular date. Keeping the butterflies in the nursery pen any longer is not an option … so they have to go on the date set.
So we found ourselves watching the forecast for this years Butterfly Release for a whole week beforehand, desperately hoping that it would change for the day. It didn’t. The worst weather of the year so far, and the forecast was “bang on” correct for the whole week prior, and almost to the minute accuracy – what a shame!
Thankfully though, it did not dampen the spirits of the Butterfly Community too much (we’re a hardy lot) and we still had a fantastic turnout. Our kind hosts Rev. John and Wendy Evans (who had both had a traumatic week leading up to the event) had ensured that the gardens were at their best as usual, and in the rain they looked even more beautiful.
Unsurprisingly not much “picnicking” took place this year, and due to the conditions we had a rather hurried blessing for the butterflies from our host John, and then we carried straight on with the dedication and release. As usual our good friend, and celebrant, Peter Wyllie led the proceedings for the dedication whilst our founder Ann Hollowell handed out the precious butterflies for release into the gardens.
Due to the weather our little friends were not doing a great deal of “fluttering”! It was pretty cool for them and extremely wet, so they were all released onto plants with good shelter and plenty of food so that they could stock up and be ready for when the sunshine finally returned.
So it was not the event that we would usually expect, we love it when families are able to picnic and are able to mingle, meet old friends and make new ones. We have been lucky over previous years so perhaps we were due for a “wet one” so lets all start crossing our fingers for next year ….