We delight in the beauty of the butterfly,
but rarely admit the change it has gone through
to achieve that beauty.
Bees sip honey from flowers and hum their thanks when they leave.
The gaudy butterfly is sure that the flowers owe thanks to him.
Rabindranath Tagore, "Stray Birds"
"Once I read a story about a butterfly in the subway, and today I saw one. It got on at 42nd and off at 59th, where, I assume it was going to Bloomingdales to buy a hat that will turn out to be a mistake - as almost all hats are."
Nikolaus Laszlo, Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron, "You've Got Mail"
The tulip and the butterfly appear in
gayer coats than I:
Let me be dressed fine as I will,
Flies, worms, and flowers exceed me still.
Women, don't get a tattoo.
That butterfly looks great on your breast
when you're twenty or thirty,
but when you get to seventy,
it stretches into a condor.
Little Miss Muffet,
sat on her tuffet,
eating her curds and whey..
Along came a spider and
sat down beside her,
and frightened Miss Muffet away.
Old Children's Nursery Rhyme
Love is like a butterfly.
It goes where it pleases and
it pleases wherever it goes.
"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly,
"one must have sunshine, freedom
and a little flower."
Hans Christian Andersen
Note: The proboscis coming out of his mouth
The Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly is a strong flier with distinctive yellow and black striped markings on its wings and body. This butterfly has a wing span of 3.5 to 6.5 inches and is found throughout the USA and Canada. Southern subspecies are larger than northern ones.
The caterpillar is plump and green with yellow eyespots; it looks like bird droppings when young. Larvae eat leaves from the tulip tree, sweet bay, wild black cherry, ash, lilac, aspen, birch and choke cherry.
The caterpillars first meal is its own eggshell. The grown butterfly drink sweet flower nectar and seem to like pink flowers especially. Butterflies can only sip liquid food using a tube-like proboscis (see above picture), which is a long, flexible "tongue". It uncoils to sip food, and coils up again into a spiral when not in use.
The Tiger Swallowtail is not poisonous , but many females are much darker, mimicking the poisonous Pipevine butterfly. Animals that eat them get very sick but generally do not die, but they do remember that this brightly colored butterfly made them very sick so will avoid all butterflies with similar markings in the future.
In nature a repulsive caterpillar turns into a
But with humans it is the other way around:
A lovely butterfly turns into a repulsive
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