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I love butterflies. I love watching them dance from petal to petal and their swirly flying pattern. A few weeks ago when I went to photograph the bunnies for Fox’s Farmstead I had a few minutes to enjoy the butterflies that were enjoying their flower garden.
Did you know that if the temperature dips below 55 degrees they are unable to fly? Ideally their body temperature needs to be about 85 degrees. They are so fascinating with their delicate and colorful wings. Have you ever noticed how amazingly thin their wings are? Butterflies in general have a very short lifespan, typically 2-4 weeks, except for the monarch butterfly. They can live to the ripe old age of 6 to 8 weeks. During their lifetime they can fly up to 2000 miles on those thin little wings to migrate to and from Mexico.
You know what else is fascinating about butterflies? The way they eat! Two new things I learned writing this blogpost: One, butterflies have taste receptors on their feet with tiny spines that detect the right match of plant chemicals so they know that particular plant is food. Isn’t that cool? The second thing I learned is that what I always thought of as their tongue, that long straw like tube they use to drink nectar, is called a proboscis and is actually located under their chin.
Oh, I have to make it three things I learned about butterflies that I didn’t know before this post! Apparently they are nearsighted. How scientist have figured this out I’ve no idea but that’s what they say. Butterflies also see a range of ultraviolet colors that are not visible to the human eye. It is also believed that they themselves have ultraviolet markings on their wings that help them identify each other.
I can get excited when shooting pictures when I know things are coming together with the subject and lighting and compositionally. This day was practically perfect and it seemed as if the little guys were even posing for me. Even going so far as to share a meal together so that I could get a picture.
Next year I hope to plant a variety of flowers in our own garden to attract butterflies. These beautiful little creatures make it hard to be anything but happy when they’re around, don’t you think?
I will be making an album on my Facebook page of more pictures I took this day and I hope you pop over to check them out. I will also be making prints and cards available so if you see one that you like in particular let me know!
Butterflies…flowers that fly and all but sing. ~ Robert Frost