Painted Wings


Nabokov described a mounted butterfly in The Aurelian as "eyed wings wide-open in wonder, shimmering blue satin, black magic." And it was dead. Imagine those velvety stained-glass arcs in three dimensions. If your inner lepidopterologist flutters about your soul, get to Butterflies in the Garden at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. The exhibit brings 12,000 butterflies to the gardens from Central America and Southeast Asia in a grand, dare we say multicultural, production. Texans are, of course, familiar with butterflies, but the dry climate here produces compact insects to match the gusty winds and dry air. In the tropics, with moisture and heat in abundance, the business of life becomes a pageant of color, size and flamboyance. Look for the Blue Morpho (Morpho peleides), a Central American species that ranges from Mexico to Venezuela and Trinidad and has a wingspan of six inches, and Birdwings (Shoenbergia meridionalis meridionalis), a rare species from Papua New Guinea whose females have wingspans of up to seven and a half inches, making them some of the largest butterflies in the world. The exhibit also features a life-cycle section where visitors can see butterflies emerging from chrysalises. Butterflies in the Garden continues through April 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for kids. Fort Worth Botanical Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth. Call 817-871-7677. --Adam Reed

On a Roll

Men love watching women in skimpy clothes fight. Professional roller derby leagues knew to use this, and the sport's rise in popularity 30 years ago coincided with its female competitors tugging each other's hair and grabbing each other's flesh, concealed or otherwise, all in the name of bigger crowds and better ratings. The "entertainment" of the sport overshadowed the sport itself until only the scripted acts for that night's performance remained. That's when people quit watching. Today roller derby's staging a comeback. Two all-girl leagues are forming in Dallas. The Assassination City Roller Derby hosts a recruitment party at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Sons of Hermann Hall, 3414 Elm St., with music by Slick 57, The Tah-Dahs and The Strange Boys, plus "arm wrestlin', kissin' booth and silent auction." It's $5 at the door. Visit --Paul Kix

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