PHOTO: Cat checks out a glasswing butterfly.
LESLIE BOTEY ’14
“Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved to try and catch butterflies, but there aren’t many in the city. Being in the structure with these elegant creatures made me feel like a little kid again—alive and connected to nature.”
BIG BI B IG ROCK IG RO R OC CK K FALLS FA F AL A LL L LS L S& BUTTERFLIES B UT U TT TE ER E R RF FL F LI L IE I ES
LESLIE BOTEY ’14: On March 14th we decided to go to the butterfly gardens. When we got there, we were surrounded by the smell of different flowers and the sounds of birds. We stopped for a moment to look at the guinea hens. There were flowers everywhere, and hummingbirds would zoom by my head and startle me. The garden outside was full of colors and little baby chicks! The butterflies were enclosed in a screened wooden structure so that the light can reach the plants inside. When I entered, it was a beautiful sight to see. The butterflies were flying everywhere and it was very peaceful. There were suspended plates filled with sugar water for the butterflies. I remember getting closer for a better look and being mystified by the glass-winged butterflies. They looked like little figurines instead of live insects, because they were so still that I could actually see through their wings! I tried to stay as still as possible and several butterflies attached themselves to me. It was so nice being able to see them up close. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved to try and catch butterflies, but there aren’t many in the city. Being in the structure with these elegant creatures made me feel like a little kid again—alive and connected to nature. After our beautiful tour of the butterfly gardens, we decided to go for a swim at Big Rock Falls. Little did I know we were going to have an adventure to remember. The road was bumpy and muddy. There were trenches about a foot deep on either side of the road, which meant we had to drive carefully because we could possibly get stuck like last year’s group. And we did. At first, we only had one wheel stuck but then we got both of the right-side tires stuck. So we had to wait until someone got some rope to pull us out. When they got there, we all got behind the van, and in one glorious moment we pushed and pulled the van out of the trench. By the time we got back into the van, we were badly in need of a swim, because most of us were covered in mud. I personally thought the worst was behind us; boy, was I ever wrong! I thought we were only going to have to walk a little bit because I could hear the water nearby. We walked a way into the forest and suddenly there was an almost vertical path down that seemed to stretch down forever. I only had flip-flops on and slipped on multiple occasions. I had to go barefoot most of the way. It was the scariest thing I had done— even more frightening than when I went into the caves. Finally, we got to the falls. They were beautiful and had (you can laugh here) big rocks which you can jump into the river from (hence the name). I had the pleasure of watching everyone else jump while I enjoyed the calmer water downriver with Maggie, Cat, and Yiwei. We stayed there for about two hours and hiked back up to our van. It was an incredible experience.
MAYAN MA M AY A Y YA AN A N RUINS RU R UI IN NS N S
AIDEN THERRIEN ’16: When we arrived at the Xunantinuch Mayan ruins, I was
initially unimpressed. We saw a small set of what appeared to be stairs and I figured the rest of the ruins would be more of the same—just small parts of long-collapsed structures. I was so wrong. We went up a trail and entered into a huge courtyard.
Vermont Academy's alumni magazine