Hundreds honored Bob Snetsinger — affectionately known as Butterfly Bob — at his May 14 memorial service. An entomologist and former trainer of pesticide applicators, he dedicated his late career and retirement to promoting a love, understanding and appreciation of insects.
He started the Great Insect Fair, now 20 years old and drawing thousands each year. At his request, the Tudek family gave him 3 acres to create pollinator habitat at the fledgling Tudek Park. His passion for pollinators took fire — with Master Gardeners, at schools, parks, backyard gardens, through central Pennsylvania and beyond.
Butterfly Bob taught us that floral beauty is not only in the eye of the beholder. Some critical flowering plants and trees feed and house the pollinators that other flowers require. Without pollinators, we would rarely enjoy the luxuriant beauty of flowers, the taste of fruit. Many have changed their conception of floral beauty, redesigning their gardens to support pollinator life.
Once again we remember that we are not the center of the universe. Thoughtless self-absorption could destroy the base of our own existence. We are one dangerous, overgrown, but possibly heroic species in the complex web of life.
Our intimate actions measure our love and concern for the web of life — what we put in our mouths as food, whether we create diverse gardens of Eden for all creatures or sterile monocultures, whether we conserve resources. We are called to follow Butterfly Bob’s lead and celebrate, through action, the complexity of life on earth.
Dorothy Blair, Boalsburg