The subject of Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week this week is delicate.
Recently, I visited the butterfly exhibit at Chicago Botanic Gardens with my friend, Marcia. Marcia was wearing a Hawaiian blouse with blue flowers and a butterfly landed on it.
The butterfly stayed there quite awhile – the flower pattern was large and realistic enough that perhaps the butterfly thought it was a real flower at first.
Butterflies are delicate and beautiful creatures. Their wings are made of scales which help them fly and gives them their coloring, which may be used for camouflage or for attracting a mate. If you touch a butterfly’s wings, you might rub off some of the scales, but it is a myth that the butterfly will die if you do. If you handle it roughly, however, the loss of these delicate scales may cause it to fly differently or to lose some of its coloring.
It is best to enjoy these delicate insects by observing and photographing them, while allowing them to fly free!
Did you know that monarch butterflies, whose population had decreased dramatically in the past decade, are making a comeback? Monarch butterflies migrate each year from Mexico to the United States, as far north as the upper Midwest. They depend on milkweed to lay their eggs, but milkweed had been decimated in recent years due to the cutting down of roadside foliage and the creation of “managed” gardens. Now people are creating monarch friendly gardens, which include the things monarchs like: milkweed (there are several varieties), coneflowers, and Queen Anne’s lace, among other flowers. Because of this, I have been seeing monarchs in my own garden and around the neighborhood – the photo above was taken in my garden alongside our driveway.