Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Southern butterflies and you

With a few days in the 70s, the butterflies have popped in during the past week.

We've seen:

Spring Azure
Falcate Orange Tip
Pearl Crescent
Hop Merchant (a.k.a. Eastern Comma)
Cabbage White

Butterflies have such cool names.

Even when the butterflies themselves are nothing to write home about, the names are often fantastic.

Thumbing through my field guide, some names I love include:

Satyr Anglewing
Hoary Comma
Ringless Blue Cracker
Mexican Eighty-Eight
Cloudless Sulphur
Question Mark
Antillean Dagger Wing
Flashing Astraptes
Malicious Shady Skipper

and my favorite:

Redundant Swarthy Skipper.

There is an interesting Hans Christian Andersen story about a butterfly who wished for a bride.

It contains the sentence, "The pea-blossom pleased him most of all; she was white and red, graceful and slender, and belonged to those domestic maidens who have a pretty appearance, and can yet be useful in the kitchen."


After having "been too long choosing, which is always a bad plan," the indecisive butterfly winds up stuck on a pin in a box of curiosities.

"Now I am perched on a stalk, like the flowers," he says. "It is not very pleasant, certainly; I should imagine it is something like being married; for here I am stuck fast."

I really have to wonder about Hans Christian Andersen sometimes.


Rurality said...


I'd like to do some butterfly gardening but I doubt I'll get to it this year.

The Butterfly website has a lot of nice pictures and articles about butterflies.

The title of the post is from one of my favorite Tim Hardin songs, "Southern Butterfly". You can hear part of it here. Click on the little speaker on the left of track 10.

Anonymous said...

you're not the only one wondering about Hans Christian Andersen :)

I'll have to find that story and read it to Pussycat. She loves those kinds of stories.

happyandblue2 said...

It's a good thing that humans don't get stuck on a pin if they wait too long to marry.