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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Beautiful butterflies: the messengers of God

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The balance of nature is maintained by its different components -living and non-living, if they remain unaltered by human beings. Numerous types of tiny creatures like insects or arthropods form the most important link of the chain through which food and energy move from organism to organism. Thus, these too contribute a lot in maintaining the balance of nature. But no one of us or very few of us, take a little care of them.

There are numerous types of insects or arthropods around us but most of us tend to kill them by chemical and mechanical means. Here I don’t want to blame any one for killing these insects. Rather, I wish to draw your attention towards one of these insects that deserves our love and care due to its some of the special merits; and also due to its great services for the good of mankind. Now, this respectable and loveable insect is the Butterfly. I can confidently say that all of you love butterflies. But why... Why do some people love butterflies when, on the other hand - they tend to kill most of the insects?

Well, the answer is very simple. We like butterflies and even love them because butterflies are fascinating, eye-catching, brightly or differently coloured flying insects. These represent almost all the colours and hues. All the children like you people, many adults like your parents, and some olds like me love and enjoy seeing or watching butterflies. Butterflies are as innocent, beautiful and smart as you people, and that’s the reason why adults and even olds love them. We enjoy the scene of these beautiful flying jewels and their beauties. Beauties of butterflies had also been recorded in prehistoric times. Their beauties have also been depicted in ancient pottery and Fresco Paintings.

What are Butterflies?
I hope that each one of you has seen many types of butterflies. Do you know what does the compound word “butterfly” mean? Let me offer you a clue, and the clue is – the compound word butterfly is made of two small words: butter and fly. On this basis now you may be guessing that –“butterfly means a fly that may be fond of eating butter.” … Wrong.

A butterfly has got its name from the spring season which in Europe is called as “butter season”. There in Europe, these flies appear first in the butter season or spring season, and hence the name – butterfly.
In many languages the word butterfly means “licker of milk”. Russians call them Bodochka which means “little souls”. In ancient civilizations butterflies had been regarded as “little angels” or “souls”. People in those civilizations used to believe that – when people die their souls go to heaven as butterflies.

Where in the world can we find butterflies?
Butterflies are found in most parts of the world except in Antarctica. In other words we can say that butterflies are found wherever flowers are found. Secondly, different species of butterflies like different types of flowers and different types of flowers are found in different locations. This is the reason why all types of butterflies are not found at one place. Their occurrences vary from place to place.

In current times, destruction of habitats, application of pesticides in agriculture and horticulture etc. are destroying species of butterflies. But, what is a habitat? Well, habitat is a place where an animal or plant species naturally lives or grows. Butterflies can flourish in several different types of habitat, such as wetlands, meadows, wood's edge, rainforests, and even an urban garden. Unfortunately, many natural butterfly habitats are being destroyed by the elimination of weeds and native grasses from yards, chemical pesticides, parks and roadways, as well as the deforestation of tropical rainforests, the native habitat.

Rain forests are best habitats for butterflies, and of course for varieties of other organisms. Rain forests are warm wet places that are found around the world. These are homes to more than half of the entire species of plants and animals found in the world. Many species of insects including butterflies found in these forests have not yet been identified. Now, since many thousands of acres of rainforests are being cut down and burnt every single day, the homes of even not yet identified butterflies and other organisms are vanishing fast.

Create an ideal butterfly garden
Since, butterflies are so beautiful, so pretty, so delicate, so innocent creatures of God that we all love them; we all must contribute our part to protect them and to help them develop. For this we all can do a lot. For example we can plant flowering plants in our backyards. Not all flowers attract butterflies equally. Only the flowers containing plenty of nectar are liked by them. Zinnias contain plenty of nectar. So these flowers are liked by butterflies very much. There are many other flowers too that contain plenty of nectar nettles, violets, passion vines and milkweed, daisies, and marigolds are some other flowers that are liked by butterflies. So we must select particular spots around our houses and plant these flowering plants to attract butterflies. There should also be some woody plants in our court yard to provide shelter to butterflies during bad weather. Caterpillars of butterflies eat leaves of these plants. When they grow older they settle at one place get closed into a cocoon and develop into a tiny butterfly after metamorphosis.

Create a resting place for butterflies
We all see that butterflies do hard work by flying from flower to flower the whole day. Don’t they take rest? They need rest after feeding. They suck nectar in liquid state and relax for some time. For this they sit on some bricks, rock pieces or a broad leaves and bask with their wings wide spread. Their wings act as solar collectors and collect sufficient energy to raise the body temperature and to boost up the activities of butterflies. So we can create resting or basking places for butterflies by placing rock pieces, bricks and stones at the margins of our back yard so as to facilitate butterflies rest and relax.

Eggs of butterflies
Butterflies fix their eggs to leaves using a sticky, glue-like substance. Egg location on the plant depends on the species, but you can find them anywhere, from the leaves to the stems, and sometimes even inside a flower. Different species will also favor different plants. Monarch butterflies, for example, will often lay their eggs on milkweed. To attract butterflies, you'll need to give them a place to lay their eggs. Find out what butterflies are in your area and which plants they use to lay their eggs.

Do you know?

Many people who believe in God, love butterflies and regard them as messengers of God. So when any one of such people desires a wish to come true, he captures a butterfly carefully without causing any harm to it. Then he whispers his wish to the butterfly. Since, butterflies make no sound, they can’t tell the wish to any one but to the creator only. Is not it interesting. You too may send your message to God by whispering your wish to a butterfly, but not by catching it. Just try to see a basking butterfly, go near it carefully and whisper your wish to it. 

Key Words: butterflies, messengers, monarch, milkweed

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