The Gift of the Butterfly

Butterflies are our Creator’s own painted canvases. Each specie has its own unique pattern and color. Vibrate colors with different patterns all with a purpose according to God’s plan! Its fun photographing butterflies. You need to find them, you need some stealth techniques and you have to be patient! My most interesting and satisfying experiences photographing butterflies are in their natural environment. My most unique experience was photographing butterflies along the side of the highway. The weeds were full of butterflies, hundreds of them! I must have spent two hours with them.

I shot the following images in my friends garden.

Yellow Swallowtail

After I wetted my appetite for photographing butterflies, I couldn’t find any!

So whats a photographer to do? You search for the everywhere and you you photograph where you find them!

Clouded Sulphur in the dirt.
What ate we looking for? On a gravel road.

One can keep the camera in the car and one can visit butterfly houses. I have done most of my butterfly photography in butterfly houses. I have visited the butterfly exhibit at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, VA and the butterfly exhibit at the University of Florida’s campus in Gainesville..

Leopard Lacewing

I have learned that butterflies are not expressly found in Scripture, but as a part of God’s natural creation, they provide a beautiful picture of spiritual transformation. The metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly has striking parallels to Christian conversion, resurrection, and transfiguration.

Emerald Swallotail

The Bible says that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new creation. The old life is gone, and the new life has begun 2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come, ESV. The same God who takes a caterpillar and changes it into a butterfly, transforms sinners into saints. Butterflies in the Bible: Meaning and Symbolism, Mary Fairchild, June 11, 2020, http:/

Romans 12-2 NIV says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

This verse also, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland”. Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV

Black Swallowtail

Here are some interesting facts about butterflies: Despite the 17,500 species of butterflies that currently exist, only about 750 of those live in the US, with the most abundant being the cabbage white butterfly. Did you know that butterflies can see colors that we cannot? This is because they can perceive ultraviolet light, which is outside the scope of our visual capabilities. Additionally, many butterflies’ wings include these “unknown” ultraviolet colors to attract mates.

The Peruvian Amazon butterfly drinks the tears of turtles fir the sodium! Isn’t it fascinating how our awesome Creator works everything for the good of others?

Butterflies’ pollinating capabilities are important to ecosystems. Bees are excellent pollinators, but butterflies are are pollinators as well. This is partly because butterflies pollinate cotton flowers, a part of the cotton plant that bees naturally do not frequent, thus boosting cotton harvest. This type of pollination—where multiple insects work to pollinate different portions of the same plant—is called pollination complementarity, and it occurs with other plants too, like almonds.

The life span of an adult butterfly is short, about 2-4 weeks, but the growth process takes longer. Comprised of four stages: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis), and finally adult butterfly, the complete life cycle of a butterfly from egg to adulthood can last anywhere from 30 days to multiple years.

Monarch butterflies migrate as far as 3,000 miles from northern US and Canada to Mexico looking for warmer weather. Alternatively, monarchs from across the western region of the US migrate to the coast of California for the winter and then once again scatter amongst other western states when it gets warmer.

Butterflies can’t fly if they’re cold. Butterflies need to maintain a high body temperature in order to fly which is around 86 degrees. Butterflies warm up by basking in the sun on vegetation with their wings spread in direct sunlight. Their wings contain a network of small capillaries and this activity heats the blood in butterflies’ veins, allowing for transport of warmed blood throughout their small bodies.

Did you know that butterflies taste with their feet?

Butterflies have senses of taste, smell and touch and their taste receptors are located on their feet. Actually, the reason for these sensors are more complex than just detecting sweet nectar. A female butterfly will use its sensors to determine whether its caterpillars will be able to eat the leaves they have landed on. Using its receptors, female butterflies can detect both attractive and toxic traits of plants in order to choose the most suitable plant for their eggs. For this reason the taste sense in some species of butterfly is only switched on in females.

Attract butterflies by setting out ripe fruit!

Butterflies don’t actually eat anything. They can only drink, using a long protruding tube called a proboscis. Butterflies mostly drink nectar, but they also drink from muddy puddles, rotten fruit and even animal carcasses.

Butterflies can fly 12 miles per hour and their are no butterflies on Antartica!

Great Spangled Fritillary

The beauties of nature have a tongue that speaks to us without ceasing. The open heart can be impressed with the love and glory of God, as seen in the works of His hand. The listening ear can hear and understand the communications of God through the things of nature. There is a lesson in the sunbeam, and in the various objects of nature that God has presented to our view. The green fields, the lofty trees, the buds and flowers, the passing cloud, the falling rain, the babbling brook, the sun, moon, and stars in the heavens—(as well as the butterfly) all invite our attention and meditation.79The Youth’s Instructor, March 24, 1898, White (My butterfly thought added)

Postman, South America

When you see butterflies spend time contemplating how magnificently they were made by the hands of our Creator. You are created just as wonderfully!

If you can identify some of these butterflied, please contact me!!

2 responses to “The Gift of the Butterfly”

  1. Cindy,
    When the girls other Grammy passed from Covid, Sarah used the butterfly story of life to try to get Lydia to understand. She seemed to grasp it, but then added bunnies and birds as Kristines way of visiting her! What a precious joy for my oldest granddsughter to accept her death but not have to let go!
    I, myself, have experienced many butterflies landing on my nose & refusing to leave for close to an hour, staring into my eyes, as if into my soul! After several events such as this, I realized it meant someone, from home, had died, they came to say goodbye. My brother, to whom I was extremely close, stayed by my back door for 6 days, landing on my nose each time it saw me go in or out! I learned, 6 days later, he was found dead in his apt., under peculiar circumstances.
    God is SO good, souch a great creator and there is so much more we just do not see! Wish I had that infrared vision like the butterfly, I might see more and in a better light!
    Thanks for sharing! Just beautiful……..BUT, WHAT were those butterflies doing in gravel???? 🤔

    1. We have a wonderful Lord who gives us beautiful memories of our family members who have fallen asleep! We will see them again when Jesus returns!

      Those butterflies found something they liked in the gravrl!!

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