"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower." ~ Hans Christian AndersonThe butterflies are flitting from flower to flower in our new beds. They enjoy the coneflowers and butterfly bush daily and a lot of new varieties have shown themselves, many we haven't seen in our yard before. As I watch them twirl and flit and generally take twice as long to get from point A to point B as they could if they traversed the space in a straight line, I wonder... why call them "butterflies"? Bees fly, birds fly, but butterflies wander and roam and seem to have no sense of time or space or any clear direction to go. They are a lot like most men watching television with a remote control.. they land on one flower then on to the next and back to the first and then to a third... never stopping to really drink from a bloom long enough to actually get a full draw of the nectar. Seriously, sometimes the erratic flight patterns make me a bit sea sick. Such nervous little creatures.
So, why call them "butterflies"? True, sulfurs are yellow, like butter... but this is where any comparison ends. They aren't all yellow, they are not greasy and I assume they aren't really buttery tasting, though this is just a guess since I have never tasted nor would ever taste one. So, I prefer to call them "flutter-by's". It is what they do best. They simply flutter by, here and there, to and fro, all around the yard... tip-toeing through the flowers, then up to the roof and back to the tree and then to the flowers yet again.
The Red Admiral is a new visitor to the yard. This is the first year I have seen them here, but then this is the first year we have had flowers to attract them. I think this might be the "Twilight" coneflower... one of six different varieties we have grouped together with the Black-eyed Susan. I love the contrasting red and black on the upper wings and how the underwings look so different... like swirling dark marble. Personally, I think he enjoys being the center of attention... perhaps he's showing off for Ruby Tuesday.
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