Winged Beauties and Butterfly Metaphor for Life

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It’s butterfly season and I’m fascinated by these winged beauties!

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Our butterfly bushes have been covered with butterflies, bees and moths.

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 And I’m drawn to old gardening books and watering cans like butterflies to nectar. :)

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How to Know the Butterflies: A Manual of the Butterflies of the Eastern United States

by John Henry Comstock and Anna Botsford Comstock

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My passion flower vine has been growing by leaps and bounds by my Potting Shed this summer.

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Passiflora incarnata, commonly known as maypop, purple passionflower, wild apricot, and wild passion vine, is a vigorous grower and common wildflower in the southern United States and is a source of nectar and food for butterflies and bees.

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It’s also a larval host plant for the Gulf fritillary, also called the passion butterfly.

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 The larva feeds exclusively on species of passionflower.

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 Their rows of black spines are soft to the touch and non-stinging, but protect them from predators along with their bright orange color~ a warning that they’re toxic if eaten.

Isn’t nature amazing?

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One of the few things that stuck with me from my high school French is a favorite quote from Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

“Il faut bien que je supporte deux ou trois chenilles si je veux connaître les papillons.”

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“I must endure the presence of two or three caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with butterflies.”

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A butterfly metaphor for life. :)

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Gulf fritillary butterfly and caterpillars

I was thrilled to see my first Monarch butterfly in years, sipping nectar from a passion flower bloom!

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Peacefully sipping alongside a bumble bee.

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  44 comments for “Winged Beauties and Butterfly Metaphor for Life

  1. Linda
    August 14, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Absolutely stunning photographs! I wish this post was a little book that I could revisit whenever I wanted to.

    • Wendy
      August 14, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      Ditto :-)

  2. Jan
    August 14, 2015 at 7:15 am

    I so enjoyed this today!
    Butterfly’s are just the most beautiful, fragile, free flowing creature to watch~

  3. Alison
    August 14, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Beautiful!

  4. Sue
    August 14, 2015 at 7:26 am

    I LOVE butterflies too!! Your photos are beautiful. A few years ago my husband and I went to Butterfly World in Ft. Lauderdale. It was amazing!!! So many butterflies all in one huge area. I was enthralled. You would love it :)

  5. Michelle
    August 14, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Your photos has captured the butterflies and flowers in a beautiful way.!

  6. August 14, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Oh Mary, your photos are so vivid and colorful. I felt like I could reach out and touch a butterfly! The Passion plant and it’s flower is a work of art in itself, and has provided so much beauty and enjoyment for you this summer.

  7. Kim
    August 14, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Great shots, Mary. I have been watching a couple on my hanging baskets on the deck.

  8. August 14, 2015 at 7:40 am

    Wow!

  9. Ellen Stillabower
    August 14, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Gorgeous!! I plant extra flat leave parsley just for the butterflies!! 😍🐛☀️🐝

  10. August 14, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Your quote is like the one “You’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince” :) You have a botanical garden that nature’s creatures are flocking to Mary, it’s absolutely incredible! The vine is amazing!! Your little potting shed is simply bursting with foliage~ Love the vignette inside to with your books and wonderful treasures. Happy weekend~
    Jenna

  11. Anne Keller
    August 14, 2015 at 8:30 am

    So beautifully done Mary. I have a show at my window right now too. Like old friends coming back each year. Love your post.

  12. Linda
    August 14, 2015 at 9:03 am

    I look forward to your post everyday…you make me happy and enjoy this wonderful life even more.Thank you for sharing your beautiful photography and insights with us all.

  13. SevenSprings
    August 14, 2015 at 9:22 am

    A joy to open your page today especially. The Monarch and the Bee – sounds like a beautiful story! And just look at how much pollen is being collected just in that one shot. Wonderful Mary. And thank you to everyone who provides plants and flowers for the pollinators – we need you all.

  14. August 14, 2015 at 9:59 am

    So many gorgeous shots, thru you I can feel the heat on my skin and scents in the air, you bring back my old life of wonder and abundance all around me. I can feel the newness and joy you are getting everyday as your potting world flourishes. It’s another sigh of heavy contentment… another gorgeous day of play in the garden!

  15. Kathi
    August 14, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Mary, your photography is absolutely magnificent! You have captured the Butterflies and Bees perfectly. A great blog today (as usual). Love all the gorgeous colors and all the information. Have a great weekend. I hope we get to see Chloe and Gracie soon…love your post where they are the stars!

  16. August 14, 2015 at 10:07 am

    I think my blood pressure just went down a bit while reading this post and seeing your beautiful butterfly friends! Don’t u wish they could whisper to you??!

  17. August 14, 2015 at 10:24 am

    How very cool – your visitors, dwellers and photographs!

  18. Debbie
    August 14, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Such lovely photos. Your garden and butterflies are beautiful.

  19. Marie
    August 14, 2015 at 11:00 am

    This is one of my favorite posts since I have been following you. I will be in my FOREVER home on Lake Cherokee starting the first part of September after 5 years of 3x a year “visits”. I can’t wait. Everytime I see your posts it reminds me of what I have waiting for me very soon. I will be leaving California and all of it’s problems behind me for the tranquility of 180 degrees of lakeviews and a new garden paradise to create. Thanks for your hard work in giving us these “feasts for the eyes”.

  20. Marie
    August 14, 2015 at 11:03 am

    For those who haven’t already read it, try reading Barbara Kingsolver’s FLIGHT BEHAVIOR. You will never look at a Monarch butterfly in the same way again.

  21. August 14, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Wonderful way to start my day! Your garden and charming shed are a little paradise.

  22. Penny
    August 14, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    This just makes me happy – thanks for sharing!

  23. August 14, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    ~ sigh ~

  24. Kim
    August 14, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Thank you for your post! Beautiful, striking photos, Mary! Your photo of the male monarch butterfly is so clear and sharp. I’ve been planting a lot of native milkweeds and became a Monarch Waystation. I love your post about feeding the pollinators, they need our help!

    I’ve been planting lots of California native plants and nectar plants for the butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Your posts are incredible.

  25. August 14, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    your photos are so gorgeous and i love your potting shed!
    blessings
    ~*~

  26. Kathy Rademacher
    August 14, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Love your blog and this one today is certainly no exception but it is exceptional. I raised butterflies in my preschool classroom every year–children loved it!! Thank you so very much for your wonderful ideas, recipes, and photography!!

  27. August 14, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    I love the cascading petunias on the door Mary, very pretty! Happy Weekend:@)

  28. Sue
    August 14, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    I have been enjoying butterflies on my coreopsis flowers! Your photographs are gorgeous!
    I second the recommendation to read Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver.
    If you are visiting Georgia, I suggest that you visit the butterfly house at Callaway Gardens – beautiful!

  29. vicki
    August 14, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    I so wish you would make it easier to copy your recipes. I would like to try several.

    • August 14, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      Hi, 90% of my recipes have a printable link so you don’t have to copy and paste them.

  30. Linda E.
    August 14, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Mary, your photographs are exquisite! I enjoyed your very informative blog so very much! Thank you!

  31. Paula
    August 14, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    ~Mary~
    Beautiful as always :)

    Stay cool
    Paula
    IN

  32. August 14, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    So, so pretty! Love all the butterflies.

  33. August 14, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    Enchanting post!!!!! I love butterflies. And I love the quote en français! :)

  34. Cindy
    August 14, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    Just magical! LOved your photos!

  35. Sue
    August 15, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Your pictures reflect your “passion” for nature, beautiful.

  36. Marilyn (in Ohio)
    August 15, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Great photos! You really know your stuff!!! I’m afraid I don’t know one butterfly from another…..:(

  37. August 15, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    I am always so blown away by your photography…especially when you capture the beauty of nature…magnificent photos of the butterflies and of course the potting shed….I am in LOVE with the watering can…you find the greatest things…and love the blue of the vintage garden shears!…Have a great weekend!

  38. Sherlie Magaret
    August 15, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Love your butterfly pictures. I have larvae stage of the monarch eating on my parsley plants so I basically don’t use my parley during this time and hope they don’t eat all my parsley. They are so beautiful even in the larvae stage and grow so fast.

  39. Carolyn
    August 17, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    I’ve had a love affair with butterflies since I can’t remember when! The post delighted me, Mary, as do your gorgeous photos! Love the metamorphosis symbolism of caterpillar to butterfly as well! Blessings on you!

  40. August 18, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Incredibly Awesome photography…our butterfly bushes have yet to blossom, waiting breathlessly.
    So glad I found your wonderful blog.

  41. August 22, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    Fabulous butterfly pics! I too saw a monarch butterfly flitting around the edges of my yard three days ago, the first one in several years. I sincerely hope it means they’re making a comeback!

Thank you for your comments~ they make my day ♥

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