Monday, October 3, 2011

What Color is Your Butterfly?

Monday Musings on This ‘N That

Most of us know that birds migrate, moving from one location to another. Do you know that butterflies also migrate? Some butterflies can travel up to 2000 miles, from Canada to the coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico and northern Caribbean spots. Butterflies west of the Rocky Mountains usually migrate to Texas and Central America and California. Those east of the Rocky Mountains migrate to the Gulf Coast and then to Mexico.

We all can probably recognize the Monarch butterfly with its patterned colors. But the butterfly I enjoy seeing is a small yellow one. There is a scientific name for them; I believe they are in the family of sulfur butterfly. Sometimes you see them in color from yellow to white and to almost clear.

If you live in the South U.S., October is a good month to see many of these yellow specimens. This year I began seeing them in September where I live. They don’t travel in great bunches or waves as do the Monarchs. They seem to move alone, slowly without purpose or direction.

But they do have direction; they are migrating southward, usually to Mexico. As they reach the Gulf of Mexico coast they appear in larger numbers. They are good at following a course of travel as long as the coast is in sight, but still they go across the gulf waters toward Mexico. I’ve been told they rest along the journey on boats, ships, or even briefly on large fish that swim close to the water’s surface. They spend the winter in the moderate climate in Mexico and begin their trek back northward in early spring, somehow knowing that the temperatures will be favorable to them.

At Callaway Gardens, Georgia is the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center where more than 1000 butterflies from 50 different species fly freely. Tropical plants preferred by each of the butterflies grow in one of North America's largest glass-enclosed tropical butterfly conservatories.They will fly close to you and even light upon you. There is also a small glassed area inside where you can watch as caterpillars laboriously change into butterflies.

The butterfly is another one of God’s precious little creations. He watches over them even as they migrate with the aid of their own GPS gift from God. Just as merry-go-rounds can be enjoyed by adults, I never tire of watching butterflies, especially the little yellow ones.


Till next time … keep on smiling.

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