Friday, April 16, 2010


One of the best yard decorations of the year has arrived!  Butterflies.  Maybe the swallowtails have been here all along.  Do all butterflies migrate?  Or do some overwinter here and hatch in the Spring?

There are over 180,000 species of butterfly!  Over 11,000 in the U. S., alone and 10,000 in Australia. (When we lived in Cairns, Australia, I was amazed at not only the variety, but the size.  They were HUGE!  And with gaudy colors of every hue.  I still have one which I found in the Outback on the road. It's royal blue with black margins and still, after all these 39 years, tucked into my Australian scrapbook, it retains its unimaginable iridescence.)

And, to my European friends, you have so many I don't recognize!  Let's compare our prettiest ones over the summer!  I'd like to locate a butterfly migratory map somewhere.  If anyone knows of such, please advise!

I've always wondered how the butterfly got it’s name. Haven't you?  Did some rural dweller believe it was attacted to butter? Did it eat butter? It seems we are left to speculate as there appear to be scant records for the appellation. Wikipedia proposes color played the main role in linguistically deciding that this lovely insect, with its scaled wings (scales provide the color) was most often yellow (or variations of yellow) and it “flitted” or “flew” from flower to flower. The Old English word for fly is “fleoge” as in “fledge.” So with the “buttor” color most prominent, plus the “flying” behavior, we have arrived at buttorfleoge or butterfly.

Here’s hoping you’re off to a delightful weekend! The weather service has issued an exceptionally high fire danger warning here in the Appalachians, so be very, very careful! We are still over the normal amount of rainfall for the year here so far, but with anticipated winds of 30 mph, humidity will be diminshed and wildfires are possible.  So, take care, and put off any burning!

Thank you all for visiting this past week! I’ve enjoyed you so much!  Your comments are  nourishing, your interests so diverse, your knowledge incomparable, and your friendship's a treasure! 
See you next week!  (Where did this week go?!)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog! We have beautiful admiral butterflies in the garden at the moment, sweet little blue grey ones whose names I have yet to learn and of course the white cabbage butterfly which I try to remind myself is rather lovely despite the eventual damage! One of the loveliest moments I have ever experienced was walking into a grove of trees alongside a river and looking up to see thousands of monarchs hanging from the trees above. Surreal.