Friday, June 15, 2012

The Butterfly Effect

I visited the butterfly exhibit at RSABG this week and if you're a local I suggest you visit too. It closes at 3:00 just so you know since I arrived at just a few minutes before but the men that took my 2.00 admission invited me to stay as long as I wanted and generously answered all of my questions. I was thrilled to have a plant identified that I had been wondering about, mystery solved.

*California Dog Face (really:)
* sorry I can't remember the flower obviously in the sunflower family or asteraceae. Did you know that the sunflower family is the largest plant family on Earth!

There aren't many good poems that I know of written about butterflies, most lend toward the corny and obvious.

* Gulf Fritillary on Salvia Clevlandii
Some focus on it's bumbling flight manner, bumping around the garden like soap bubbles pushed by the breeze.

*Mournful Duskywing (so dramatic the names)

Other poems focus on metamorphosis, a metaphor for rebirth, that's okay.

*Luna Moth caterpillar

Naturally there are hoards of poems written about the insects bright and varied often ostentatious color patterns, beautiful, yes.........even the name evokes something quite pleasing.....butterfly.

*Northern White Skipper ( skippers are sometimes referred to as butterfly moths, sort of an in-between category) This one wants to grow up to be a proper butterfly.

If I were a poet or writer I might focus my words toward a more empathetic nature.

*checkerspot feeding on Verbena Lilacena ( I wish you could smell this plant, mmmm)

That poor insect flitting around the garden like the carnival has come to town, all the while a bit to obvious for predatory birds and hungry lizards.

*Pipestem Swallowtail Salvia Clevlandii flowers

* Pipestem Swallowtail California Buckeye

*condensation forming on the monarch chrysalis, looks like enamel work.

A poem could also be written abut the Monarchs epic journey flying sometimes over great bodies of water with amazing navigational prowess following some compass point unknown to us.

Flying from North America to the mountains of Mexico on their yearly migratory route.

You or I could write a poem or a story about them but I suggest you plant some milkweed as well to help them on their journey.

Have a delightful weekend all, xo Ro


  1. All right, I'm search for butterfly poems and to write some of my own, perhaps. Milkweed is in good supply need to plant more in our corner of the prairie, but I will make SURE I don't pull any up!

    Thanks for sharing the blessings of this butterfly visit...a magical place, to be sure!

    Happy Friday to everyone along the trail....

    1. I'm counting on you and your writing skills Caroline.

      I'm glad about your milkweed, I read that with the drought in TX last summer that were having a hard time feeding across that big state. It's mind boggling to think of them traveling from the east coast all the way to Mexico.

      Happy Friday to you!!

  2. Wow...I am thrilled that his place is within driving possibilities for me...great pictures as always and wishing you a happy weekend Ro! xx

    1. It's really wonderful Mona, drop me a line if you want yo go, I'll go with..

  3. I've always been amazed by the little gold dots on a monarch's chrysalis. They really look like they are made of yellow gold.

    Lovely photos--as usual!

    1. Me too! The color and that line of glistening gold dots are prettier than any jewelry....ahhhhmazing!

  4. I wish I could go to see them... Butterflies are like flowers with wings. I don't remember who first said this. But I do remember I read it somewhere so it wasn't me.

    My favorite butterfly quote is:
    "Happiness is a butterfly which, when pursued, is always just beyond our grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you." - Nathaniel Hawthorne

    1. Hi Magda,
      Oh I do like these, thanks for scouting them out. Flowers with wings indeed, hard to hide :)

      *something headed your way


  5. Butterfly wonderland!! REALLY enjoyed this post, your photos & musings/observations!!! Tiny & delicate, yet they travel 1,000's of miles. So remarkable. xoxoxo

    1. It's hard to believe they travel so far and live so long.

      My mil used to tell my husband they lived for one day, WHAT? I think she was trying to make him appreciate his days and make them count though.


  6. Great photos! When me and my siblings were young my mother got a monarch caterpillar for each of us from a local children's museum. We raised them and then we released them when they became butterflies. (and all 4 of them made it, yay! :) It was really cool and I've always loved monarchs since then.
    These other ones are really pretty too, especially that California dog face....what a name though! :)

    1. Oh that's so cool DJ! I bought several Painted Lady caterpillars for my son when he was little and enjoyed the process, it was really interesting. Last year I wanted to raise hornworms from my tomatoes but the plants never got them, probably the first year ever, so I'll hope for them again this year, maybe that will ward them off :)

      The Dog Face id supposed to have to silhouetted poodle profiles ink blotted on it's open wings but they don't look like poodles to me.
      * We also have a native plant called a Poodle Dog Bush eeeeek who's in charge of names.....terrible!

  7. Happy weekend! Loved this post with all the great photos and names :). Thank you ♥.

    Here are a few quotes that I like:

    "Butterflies are self-propelled flowers."
    ~ R.H. Heinlein

    "The caterpillar does all the work but the butterfly gets all the publicity."
    ~ George Carlin

    "Bees sip honey from the flowers and hum their thanks when they leave.
    The gaudy butterfly is sure that the flowers owe thanks to him."
    ~Rabindranath Tagore, "Stray Birds"

    (That first one always makes me smile!)

    1. Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for your contribution... flowers on flowers!

      I'm rather fond of the last one, somehow with her fancy plumage she does seem a bit stuck up like a lady in a kaftan...he heee

      George Carlin on butterflies.......gotta love that!

  8. I saw something that looked like a Monarch on a little canal the other was breathtaking!

    1. I'm glad you were out there at the right moment Dawn, your timing was right!

  9. Morning, Ro!

    Best part of my week...I get to catch up with you along the trail!

    Okay...those rings...stunning! It's hard to improve on Mother Nature, but you have a way of wrapping beautiful stones in silver just so...(makes my travel fund very nervous!). =)

    Oh, and those butterflies. I will have to add RSABG to my list. I have a few schmetterlinge inked on my dermis, so am a big fan. For poems, I think I would have to turn to my favorite Bashō:

    fragrant orchid—
    into a butterfly’s wings
    it breathes incense

    Happy weekend!

    1. I wouldn't mind growing up to be a 'proper butterfly' myself. =)

    2. Good morning Ash, I hope you had as good a week as I have had and looking forward to fathers day at the beach.

      I hope you do make it to OZ, click your magic slippers :)

      Well if you ever make it down to these parts I'll take you to RSABG and you can compare, it's pretty wonderful and just a few blocks away.

      *You have!!


      Leave it to a 17th century poet.........and we call them butterfly orchids now.

    3. It has, thanks, Ro. Inky cramped hand. Always a good sign!

      And it's a date! (Besides, I would love to pick your metalsmithing brain at some point for a couple of my characters...if you're amenable?!)

      * Aw, thanks.

      Re Basho: I know, right. (Butterfly orchids: I never knew that.)

      Have a lovely weekend. I have a nice stack of John O'Donohue books from the library to savor!

    4. PS. I will make it Downunder one of these days, but we all know magic slippers need silver bells! =)