Hello, Mr. Butterfly Man!
Bryan Reynolds, Nature Photographer
by Karen King
When I moved to Norman, I met Bryan Reynolds and it didn’t take me very long to find out that he had a passion for butterflies. There was a depth and breadth of his knowledge and understanding of butterflies that makes you appreciate that there are some people who look at these extraordinary creatures and say more than “that’s pretty!”
As a child, Bryan saw his first bug collection while visiting his grandmother and he was smitten. When he returned to his home in Wisconsin, he created his first insect collection and learned his first lessons about preservation. To his surprise when he looked into his box one day, he found that “museum beetles” had eaten his pinned specimens because he had not refreshed the mothballs and his insect collection was now dust. This tragedy prompted his parents to purchase Bryan a camera so he could “collect” insects on film. As a teenager, Bryan also created what he describes as “a nice professionally curated butterfly collection.”
Fast forward to 1985 and Bryan is serving in the United States Air Force. From 1999-2005, he was stationed in Minot, North Dakota, where he met a butterfly expert at Minot State University and his knowledge of butterflies took a giant leap forward.
Following twenty years service in the Air Force, Bryan and his wife were open to moving and settling down. They made a list of what would be important to them in finding a place to live ~ their perfect spot. On the website http://findyourspot.com, they answered a series of questions and were presented with places that would closely fit their criteria. Bryan and his wife traveled to one of those spots. On that first visit they bought a home and now live in rural Oklahoma where Bryan can observe nature and butterflies in their nature habitat!
What a great idea! Bryan inspires us not only to appreciate butterflies, to learn about them and what we can do to protect them; but also to find our spot and grow there!
What I love about butterflies!
Butterflies are extraordinoary creation. They don’t fly. They flutter and float from one pretty flower to another. Some are exquisite and unique with beautiful wings. Others are so camouflaged that they look like a tree.
Quick facts about butterflies
- There are more than 20,000 types of butterflies worldwide.
- Their wing spans can range from 1/2 inch to 11 inches.
- Butterflies in their adult stage can live from a week to nearly a year, depending on the species.
- Many butterflies migrate over long distances. Particularly famous migrations are those of the Monarch butterfly from Mexico to northern USA and southern Canada, a distance of about 2500 to 3000 miles.
Butterflies need our help!
They rely on flowers and other natural habitats to survive. We can help them by planting more flowers. You can google “butterfly gardens” to find lists of plants that butterflies will love or buy this book that Bryan Mr. Butterfly Man recommends:
Gardening for Butterflies
By The Xerces Society, published by Timber Press
How you can attract and protect beautiful, beneficial insects
Bryan Reynolds: “I would highly recommend Gardening for Butterflies by the Xerces Society to butterfly lovers and gardeners. It’s loaded with excellent color photos of butterflies, moths, flowers and gardens. I’m proud to have 57 of my images in it as well as two on the back cover and the spine photo. You can purchase it through all of the big book outlets, or better yet, get it directly from the Xerces Society here: http://www.xerces.org/books-butterfly-gardening/
Protect and nurture the best-loved of garden guests: butterflies, nature’s kaleidoscopes with wings. The Xerces Society introduces you to a variety of butterflies who need our help, and provides suggestions for native plants to attract them, habitat designs to help them thrive, and garden practices to accommodate all their stages of life. Join the effort to conserve butterflies and moths, and learn proven strategies for welcoming these extraordinary visitors.
Purchase in their online store.