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All About Butterflies

All About Butterflies

Last weekend, there were dozens of gorgeous butterflies fluttering along beside me on my walks, which not only lifted my spirits, but got me thinking about them. This time of year, millions of butterflies are migrating. I want to help them in any way I can, but Iíd always heard that if one gets trapped indoors, you canít touch it or it will die. And how can I feed them if all they eat is nectar? You may be as surprised as I was by some of the answers to my butterfly questions. Learn some fun facts about butterflies, get a great recipe for butterfly food, and easy directions for making a nice butterfly spa, all right here.

Butterfly Facts

The Greek word for “butterfly” means “soul,” which may explain why the sight of them lifts ours so beautifully.

There are more than 17,000 species of butterflies in the world. When you stop to notice the butterflies in your own neighborhood, you will be amazed at the variety.

Butterflies do not just live on nectar–they also eat rather more unsavory stuff like rotting fruit and dung.

A common folklore belief is that a butterfly landing on you is a harbinger of good luck.

Because butterflies emerge transformed from a cocoon, they are often seen as symbols of rebirth.

Butterfly Myths

1. If you touch a butterfly, it will die. According to The Family Butterfly Book, by Rick Mikula (Storey Books, 2000), that thing about killing butterflies when you touch them because the powder gets rubbed off their wings is a myth, probably circulated to keep people from harming them.

2. If a butterfly gets a drop of water on its wings, it will die. Nope. While we donít want to aim a hard spray from the old garden hose at them, they can–and do–survive getting wet just fine.

3. Butterflies all migrate to Mexico. Actually, butterflies are found everywhere in the world except Antarctica–and they migrate all over, too. Although they look so fragile, butterflies are evolved to survive in extreme conditions, and some of them travel thousands of miles.

4. If a butterfly wing gets torn or ripped off, it will grow back. While we wish this was true, itís not. So please encourage your children and pets to be kind to butterflies.

Feed the Butterflies

Since they will eat other things beside nectar, you can help your migrating or soon-to-be-migrating butterflies by making this unappetizing recipe for Butterfly Bait. It may sound a bit disgusting to you but it will make your butterflies very, very happy.

Make a Butterfly Spa

Butterflies are drawn to shallow water, so here are several creative, easy ways to treat your visiting butterflies to a nice bath en route.

Cait Johnson is the co-author of Celebrating the Great Mother (Inner Traditions, 1995).

Read more: Nature, Lawns & Gardens, Nature & Wildlife, Outdoor Activities, , ,

By Cait Johnson

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Cait Johnson

Cait Johnson, MFA, is the author of six books, including Earth, Water, Fire, and Air: Essential Ways of Connecting to Spirit, Witch in the Kitchen, Celebrating the Great Mother and Tarot Games. She has been a counselor for more than 20 years, and teaches workshops on seasonal elemental approaches to self-healing, conscious eating, and soul-nurturing creativity.


+ add your own
8:31AM PDT on Jul 21, 2013

Thanks so much for this information.

12:42PM PDT on Jul 9, 2013


3:40PM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

Thanks for the wonderful article.

8:04AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012


1:39AM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

Great article. Thanks.

8:10AM PDT on Jun 11, 2012

Thank you for the info.

1:41PM PDT on Nov 1, 2011

~Interesting and uplifting article about one of our favorite creatures!~

7:38PM PDT on Oct 20, 2011

Thanks for the information. I just love butterflies.

6:03AM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

Thank you

8:43AM PDT on Jun 2, 2011


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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