Do I want to see butterflies in captivity? I'm ambivalent. Caged butterflies is an incongruous idea. But I decide to catch the bus to the Kuranda Butterfly Sanctuary anyway. I pay my $15 and find myself stepping gently, awed by the swift bright flutterings all around me, and smiling that smile of pure delight. I notice that some wings look a bit raggy, but I can't stop being completely charmed. I stand still and a butterfly lands on my spectacles: later I notice people looking at me, and a woman says “There's one on your hat”. A little girl cries “There it is … Oh it's gone”; and a father holds a tiny baby close enough to see one poised on a fern. Yes, I did want to see butterflies in captivity.
After the delicacy of butterflies I move on to the solidity of iron. Thirteen local artists and fabricators collaborated on the street artworks, commissioned by the local council. Some of the art is made from railway and pioneer artefacts, the most striking the bench with a seat made of recycled railway tracks. I don't actually test it for comfort, but I have my doubts. Handrails, signposts, seating, rubbish bins and bollards, all in tune with rainforest and village atmosphere were designed and forged by Hans Pehl. The Aboriginal murals were all designed by local Aboriginal artists: the circular mural is one of five representing the indigenous communities along the Barron River.