Sunday, 20 November 2011

Thoughtful Sunday - Butterflies galore

I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man. ~ Chuang Tzu

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. ~ Richard Bach

 We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. ~ Author Unknown

We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever. ~ Carl Sagan

Butterflies are self propelled flowers. ~ Robert Heinlein

 The butterfly is a flying flower, The flower a tethered butterfly. ~ Ponce Denis Écouchard Lebrun

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

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

 The least thing upset him on the links. He missed short putts because of the uproar of butterflies in the adjoining meadows. ~ P.G. Wodehouse

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly. ~ Richard Buckminster Fuller

I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free. ~ Charles Dickens

The fluttering of a butterfly's wings can effect climate changes on the other side of the planet. ~ Paul Erlich

And what's a butterfly? At best, He's but a caterpillar, drest. ~ John Grey

(The above are all British butterflies with the exception of the black and yellow cocoon which is a moth - the Magpie moth.)

A P.S. added after Librarian's comment. I should really have named the butterflies but I was afraid of distracting from the quotations. So here they are - in order from the top:-
Magpie Moth chrysalis
Holly Blue
Common Blue
Small Copper
Orange Tip
Caterpillar of Large White (Cabbage White)
Common Blue
Mating Sliver-studded Blues
Comma caterpillar
Small Copper
Red Admiral


  1. Scriptor, these are incredibly beautiful - both the caterpillars and the butterflies! Some I have seen in Germany in the wild, too, but some I don't think I have ever come across.
    The one with the greyish-white pattern and the yellow splash of colour on the edge of its wing is particularly beautiful.

  2. A grand selection of butterflies but I really enjoyed the quotations.

  3. I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man. ~ Chuang Tzu
    To paraphrase Terry Pratchett: if you were holding a pen when you wrote it down, you were probably a man.
    I love the self-propelled flower quote.

  4. That hairy caterpillar looks very scary. where do your caterpillars go in Winter?

  5. I love all these butterfly photos, I was going to say I loved the Holly blue the best, but I just went back and looked at them... they are all so perfect. Do butterflies see you coming and pose for you?
    At Stone Mountain in the early spring, I saw a very small movement on the ground... I went further and inspected...there was a tiny butterfly, very dull gray in color, but then! The wings opened and the top part of the wings was the most beautiful lavender/light purple color!! I tried to draw it just so I could rememember it. Perhaps you might even know what this could be in America?

  6. Ann, some butterflies will hibernate as caterpillars - sometimes in the undergrowth and sometimes even underground. Others will turn into chrysalides and over-winter in coccoons - and again some of them will be underground.

    Kay, your butterfly sounds like one of the Blues (Lycaenidae) but there are quite a few species so I wouldn't like to hazard a guess as to which it was. Many of the Blues are best identified by the patterns on the underside but you need a photo to do that.

    The ideal days for butterfly hunting (for photos) are warmm but overcast ones - that way they are on the wing but very ready to settle and feed or simply warm themselves up. Once the sun comes out they will fly more quickly and settle less.

  7. What a wonderful thoughtful post and what beautiful quotes and photos. Quite made my day. Thank you!

  8. I have just spent a long time trying to identify my little purple butterfly from Stone Mountain! I will go back there in the spring and people will wonder why I will be all bent over looking at the ground!

  9. Very much enjoyed the British butterflies. Rather like making new discoveries for me. I knew very well what they were, I had just never seen those variations. Great job on the photos too.

  10. Okay! I think my butterfly is an Eastern Tailed Blue buttefly (Cupido Comyntas also known as Everes comyntas).
    Varieties of PURPLE or pink can be found in both sexes.
    It is the size of a dime (American dime, you know how little it is, don't you?)
    Can't tell you how happy this made me! Would not have known to have looked at the blues, had you not told me!

  11. Kay, I'm really pleased for you. I think putting names to creatures helps so much. For example - knowing its name will help you know its flying times and therefore when to look out for it next year. I'm delighted to have helped.


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