BUTTERFLIES are UGLY Bugs with PRETTY Wings

Butterfly Cupcakes - close by twokingsconfections on flickr

Butterfly Cupcakes – close
by twokingsconfections on flickr

I Love Butterflies… doesn’t everyone?

When I say “butterfly” what do you think of? Let me guess. Images of delicate, colored wings. Flowers. Beauty. Good things and pretty things. Why not? We decorate things with butterflies to make them pretty – cards, dresses, nurseries, cakes and cupcakes, etc.

Butterflies, for the most part, are pretty and delicate. They flit from flower to flower drinking nectar. What is not to love?

BUTTERFLY by Diganta Talukdar on flickr     butterfly close by .through my eyes. on flickr

BUTTERFLY by Diganta Talukdar on flickr             butterfly close by .through my eyes. on flickr

It’s just an INSECT!

I happen to think insects are cool. I love creepy crawly things. I might be scared to death of some of them, but I still think they are cool.

To all you “oh, they are so pretty” butterfly lovers:
WAKE UP CALL! They are bugs! Creepy insects in fact. Well, except for those wings.

Have you ever seen a butterfly up close? I am not talking about the wings. I am talking about the body, that proboscis, eyes, those six legs – the “bug” parts. If that is all you see, eek! Very cool, but not something I want to decorate my cake with!

Blue Morpho Butterfly by wwarby on flickr     Butterfly close up by Hugo Qintero on flickr

Blue Morpho Butterfly by wwarby on flickr  /  Butterfly close up by Hugo Qintero on flickr

But nobody looks at the bug parts. Everyone is distracted by those beautiful, delicate wings. And why not? Those wings are quite an accomplishment. And let’s not forget the flowers.

Butterfly Blue Morpho by ahisgett on flickr

Butterfly Blue Morpho by ahisgett on flickr

Butterflies are AWESOME

I love butterflies because they are awesome. Ok. And because they are pretty. But more because they are awesome. I will explain.

For one thing, I absolutely love how everyone is so enamoured by an “ugly bug” because it distracts them with pretty wings. People are either very foolish and shallow, or willing to take the bad with the good. Honestly, I don’t think most people ever give it a thought.

The Life Cycle of a butterfly is awesome!

Caterpillars are awesome!
So many different shapes and sizes and textures. Mostly going unnoticed as they crawl around feasting on their plant of choice. Some limited to a single plant species. Eating and eating and growing and growing. Looking for that perfect place to transform.

Caterpillar of European Peacock Butterfly by wallygrom on flickr

Caterpillar of European Peacock Butterfly by wallygrom on flickr

Did you know that Monarch Caterpillars feast exclusively on milkweed? Yes! That butterfly you love is dependent on that weed you hate! Hmm. Are you going to think twice about pulling that weed next time? I bet you still pull it. Gotta keep that flowerbed pretty and full of flowers. For the butterflies.

Metamorphosis is awesome!
That crawly wriggly caterpillar goes along eating and growing, and eating and growing. Preparing. Searching for that perfect place where it will be safe at its most vulnerable. What a task to find that place! That safe place where it will undergo its transformation. What a transformation!

Did you know that butterflies undergo a complete metamorphosis?
The adult is absolutely nothing like the juvenile in every way. After the caterpillar finds its safe place, it becomes a pupa. In this stage it does nothing but work to become the butterfly. No small feat. It does not simply grow legs and wings. The cells reorganize completely! This can take a few weeks, or a few years! Awesome!

Don’t we all wish we could just hide away for two years reorganizing and becoming something new? (Thanks to a super supportive family I am doing something pretty close. This blog is a part of it)

Chrysalis of the Monarch Butterfly close to hatching by Lynda W1 on flickr

Chrysalis of the Monarch Butterfly close to hatching
by Lynda W1 on flickr

The life of a butterfly is awesome!
The goals of butterflies are all the same – to reproduce. Sex (sort of) and babies that you don’t have to raise – What a life!

How they live their short lives varies among species. Some drink nectar. Did you know that butterflies can “smell” flowers from miles away?! Most butterflies never eat at all. No counting calories!

Some butterflies keep to a small range, the Karner Blue Butterfly is an example from NY. Others fly clear across the country! I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the monarch migration. Incredible! Such a delicate insect making such a journey. Maybe that “ugly bug” part is a lot tougher than the wings have you believe. I have a feeling it is.

Unknown Butterfly (Black with Green Spots) by Ber'Zophus on flickr   Butterfly by snowpeak on flickr

Unknown Butterfly (Black with Green Spots)      Butterfly by snowpeak on flickr
by Ber’Zophus on flickr

Awesome Life!
Awesome Diversity!
Awesomely Ugly-Pretty Bug!

What do you think about butterflies?

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