We couldn’t identify any of the 20 odd varieties of butterflies we found at the Mariposario, or butterfly farm, outside Granada, so we just enjoyed watching them close up. The netted area was best to catch them flitting here and there, some in pairs, swooping and diving, landing on the copious flowers and plants, fanning their wings out, preening, then off again, deliberately avoiding a photo, it seemed.
The farm was utterly deserted when we got there, save for the local man who arrived out to collect the entrance fee. We had neither the nerve nor the Spanish to ask him his job title, or whether he had one.
A look at the visitor’s book showed just a handful of names in the previous week. Though it’s just a few kilometres outside the city, it’s quite hard to get to.
The paved road runs out quickly enough and the bumpy dirt track had our taxi driver rolling his eyes and cursing as he brought the six of us out. Finally we reached a hole that couldn’t be breached and we walked the remaining few hundred metres. The reluctant driver’s promises to return proved empty and we walked the 4km to town in the sweltering heat after our visit.
Jane Foulds started the Granada Butterfly Reserve in 2002, growing dozens of plants to attract over 50 species of butterflies. She and her husband had moved to Granada once the last of their children was in college and butterflies were one of Jane’s many passions. The butterflies came, but in 2008, aged 59, Jane Foulds died suddenly at the farm. The mariposario is now run in her name by the community. It’s hard to imagine a better legacy.