Life on Florida’s West Coast

A Butterfly Named Minerva

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Here’s a story out of one of my favorite cities on earth – Gainesville, Florida. As an aside, the time I spent living there was some of the happiest of my life.

Researchers at the University of Florida while working at the Florida Museum of natural History, just off 34th Street. They have a fabulous butterfly exhibit with a Butterfly Rainforest that gave me days on end of relaxation and wonder. I miss my season pass.

The right to name the new butterfly was auctioned online and an anonymous bidder ended up paying $40,800 for the ultimate honor. The butterfly’s scientific name will be Opsiphanes blythekitzmillerae and the common name will be the Minerva owl butterfly, in honor of the late Margery Minerva Blythe Kitzmiller of Ohio.

The Director of Development for the museum said Kitzmiller’s grandchildren wanted to honor her through the name of a butterfly because she was “an extremely creative person who wrote poetry, played piano and sang.”

I think it is one of the loveliest and most thoughtful memorials I have ever heard of in my life.

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