Dogface Butterfly… is that an oxymoron?

"Dogface Butterfly", colored pencil sketch by Kerry McFall

I learned when we visited the Santa Ana Botanical Garden (Claremont, CA) last month that the state insect of California is the Dogface Butterfly, not perhaps the loveliest of names.  I literally had to sit down and draw out a dog’s face on my sketchbook before I could see where they got the name… if you stretch your imagination, you can almost see a black-eared yellow dog laughing in the upper wings.  At the garden’s butterfly house they had specimens of the Dogface under glass, but no live ones, which was disappointing, but my recent Google search offers the excuse that they are very fast flyers.  That search also showed that a yellow-only version of the Dogface also inhabits Peru, which is where my daughter Corey has just started her new job.  It felt kind of like karma that during her graduation visit I had stumbled upon a butterfly that she might actually see in her new town – that is, if she goes to the Inkaterra hotel to see their butterfly garden.  Having a butterfly garden at a hotel sounds like such fun!  I wonder if it lives up to its potential?