A Butterfly Spreads its Blessings on a Brooklyn Family
Posted by Richard Conniff on February 7, 2015
Nice story in today’s New York Times about a moment of grace in the life of a New York City family:
When Skye Rothstein gazes out her window, she is reminded of winter’s chill and the long, dark nights.
But inside the 11-year-old’s Park Slope home, there are hints of spring with the arrival of a fragile guest that sucks on cotton balls bathed in Gatorade.
For more than two weeks, Skye and her mother, Karla Rothstein, have gently nursed a black swallowtail butterfly that has become the family’s bundle of joy. The butterfly, which was discovered in Skye’s bedroom on Jan. 21, most likely emerged from an overwintering chrysalis hidden in the family’s Christmas tree.
“I went into Skye’s room and saw this slight movement on the floor, which of course in New York you never want to see,” said Ms. Rothstein, an architect and an associate professor at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
When Skye came home from karate class, she found her mother in her bedroom. “She told me to come over,” Skye said. “And there
was a butterfly sitting in my room. I just kind of sat there looking at it with my mom.”
The male swallowtail, a striking insect with asymmetrical yellow crescents, a splash of blue and distinct orange eyespots on a black canvas, preferred the texture of Skye’s bedsheet, but it made her a little anxious. “I didn’t want it landing on the bed during the night and then I rolled over and hurt it,” said Skye, a sixth-grader at the Brooklyn School of Inquiry in Bensonhurst.
Read the rest of the story here.