Stories Contributed by Our Visitors:
November 1998 to August 1999
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- Ken Elliott, Toronto, ON, CANADA
- My friend is assistant curator at the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory.
My son Ryan, who is 10, and I went to visit there earlier this summer. Margaret
explained all about the exhibits and told us all kinds of things about butterflies. I
was particularly struck by her comment that if someone just cracked open and released
the butterfly out of its cocoon it would be unable to fly. It would not really be able to
survive. It was the struggle of getting out of the cocoon that gave it the strength to survive
After that I walked around the exhibit area in awe and drove home with Ryan At the
time I was having real independence struggle with Ryan's older sister who was almost 20.
Things were tense and difficult. I knew when she went back to university quite a distance
from home I was going to be a new empty nester. Ryan lives with his Mom most
of the time. That story and the butterfly exhibit really helped me let go
and move on. I realized I cannot do everything or fix everything - she
has to 'struggle out her cocoon'.
As she drove away with her room mate
I silently said 'work to break out of your cocoon and learn to fly my
beautiful rainbow coloured butterfly. The butterflies taught me how to let go.
- Amber, Mansfield, TX, USA
- A few months ago my grandfather woke up complaining of
chest pains, so my grandmother rushed him to the hospital.
Waiting to hear the results was long, and dreadful, when
the doctor came to tell us ""A Heart Attack"" we knew this
wasn't going to be easy. After many tests were done the
conclusion came that he would have to have five way open-
heart surgery. That night I left the hospital, I knew
this was not good, not only was he diabetic, but his
kidneys were trying to shut down, how would he ever
handle a surgery so major? The family sat down with him
and told him it was his choice. After talking with the
doctors he had made up his mind to go through with it.
The day before his surgery I was driving home, as I
stopped in the driveway I prayed to God. ""Just please
be with him, keep him safe, and make him healthy, I asked,
please don't take him away from me."" For he is the
greatest man in my life. I was still to be given away at
my wedding, by him, how could I go on with out this man? As
I sat there with my windows rolled down I looked over in
my passenger seat and saw a beautiful butterfly sitting
there moving it's tiny wings. I reached over and put my
finger out, as the butterfly touched my hand I started to
cry even harder, it was then that I knew God heard me and
that was his way of letting me know everything was going
to be okay. That night the doctors came in and said
""we have good news"" after looking deeper into his test
results, they felt five way surgery would not be
necessary, they claimed that three stints would fix the
damage. As we all sat there looking around in total shock
we knew we had just been blessed. Pa-Pa made it through
just fine with the procedure, and was able to come home
the next day. I now know that the butterfly I met was my
- Emmett Worick, Orange, VA, USA
- Yesterday this small butterfly insisted on alighting on
my clothes, sometimes as if attacking and retreating. It
finally flew on my finger and sat there probing with its
proboscis. I headed for the house to get my camcorder
and discovered that the battery was dead! I took the
butterfly outside and released it, went back and installed
a fresh battery. I came back outside, and suddenly the
butterfly was back on my clothes. I gently scooped it up
on my hand and began a series of beautiful footage with
my camera. Back to the house I went with my friend still
perched on my finger. I loaded the digital still camera
with a floppy disc singlehandedly while the butterfly
appeared to enjoy the inside of my house. Back outside I
went for more shots of this magnificent creature that
seemed to enjoy its new surroundings. I got wings-up
shots, and wings-extended shots that are just gorgeous.
Even though the Internet quality of one such shot is not
that great, it's still interesting to see. This was a
beautiful fifteen-minute experience I'll never forget.
- Regina, El Paso, AR, USA
- I have been seeing them every where lately. Reminders of what I encountered a few weeks ago.
I was swimming with my husband at his parents' pool and a small purple/white butterfly landed on
my bathing suit. I called my husband over to look at it before it flew away. He teased me because
the butterfly wouldn't leave me. I would move my hand close to it and it would move to my shoulder,
I pulled on my shoulder strap and it clung on. I dipped lower into the water and it would fly to my
husband's arm. For 20 minutes we 'played' with the butterfly. I went to get my mother-in-law to
show her our new friend that wouldn't leave. It flew to her for a few minutes, but once again,
flew back to me. She said, 'you know, that's a special spirit.'
Finally, after 40 minutes with the butterfly, it flew away. I was 9 weeks pregnant at the time
with our first, and 2 days later, I miscarried. I feel like this little butterfly was my baby,
saying 'I love you, wish I could stay, but I have to leave you now.'
Everytime I see a butterfly now, I think of all the hope for the future I have and beauty in the
world. I know that although this child wasn't meant to be, My husband and I still feel like we
were able to 'play' with our child for at least a little while.
- Frosty, Phoenix, AZ, USA
- A few years ago, I had to have my beautiful cat (Precious) put to sleep. My son took
her in for me and told me it would be easier if I didn't go with. It was heartbreaking.
Let me say here that I love butterflies. I used to crochet them and Precious used to carry off
any she found to her treasure trove under the bed. I had to keep the Butterfly magnets high on
the fridge so she couldn't get to them (didn't always work). Anyway as soon as my Son left with her
I went out in the yard and just stood thinking and grieving, when a large black and yellow butterfly
flew up to me, hovered in front of me for a while while I held my breath. It then flew around me a
couple of times and flew off. I stood in awe for a while and then the tears started as I realized
my beloved Precious was out of pain and this was her way of letting me know she was now on the
Rainbow Bridge. I have no doubt that she is joyfully chasing butterflies now.
- Deborah, Richmond, VA, USA
- My brother died of cancer. When his body was lowered into the ground, a beautiful butterfly
flew around the casket and the grave. Then it left and flew into the woods. Everyone noticed
it and felt that my brother was letting us know that his spirit was now free. We all felt the
presence of the lord.
- NRG, Gold Coast, Queensland, AUSTRALIA
- I saw an angel butterfly fall from the sky.
It made me feel angry and I started to cry.
I went home and told mum, and she said,
'darling your dinner is getting cold'.
I told my Father and he fell asleep.
thanks for listening
I'm crying again
- Gloria Martel, Columbus, OH, USA
- Our daughter Cathy Lou passed away suddenly just short of 14 years of age. We were
all very sad as we returned to my mothers house after the funeral. All my husband and I
could think about was just a sign that she was happy in her glorious new home. As we were
all gathered on my mothers porch, a small white butterfly landed on my daughter Mary's shoulder,
then on my husband's and as I held out my hand, it landed there also. It lingered only a
few minutes, repeated all the things it had just done, then flew off into the sky. Now,
everytime we see a butterfly or especially if it lands on us, we feel this is our daughter
saying 'I am happy in my new home and can't wait till you come to live here too.'
- Diana, Charlotte NC, USA
- This is a true story about transformation. I have been helped with two people in my life and
I feel that without these two people that I would not be able to write this today. I'll just use
their first names and it is Matthew, who helped me for 1 1/2 years, then there is Cathy who has
just started to help me regain myself..
I've had anxiety, depression, and dependency issues that i was working on with these people, and
finally I have figured out what it is I have to do in order to have a good life and a happy one.
I know it's difficult to make these decisions, however I am doing just that. Before I had problems
with making decisions about my life and events in my life but now I have Matthew to thank for this
because he has shown me how to make decisions without him in my life. I feel I have been transformed.
I can spread my wings out and am in a crystal ball. The ball is my boundary, nothing will hurt me ever
again. The butterfly makes me feel comfortable with any stages in my life I know I can reach any level
I want to now. I have fully grown and I know the mistakes I've made in the past and in the present
I will not ever make again. And this I have Matthew to thank for...May God bless him....
- James Dilts, Van Nuys, CA, USA
- It was the early part of March, 1999 while working at my home, I got a phone call from the
ex-wife of one of my best friends. She said he had died that morning of a massive heart attack.
I took it very badly because I had been going through some tough times with my father and his illness.
It felt like this was going to be one of those years when the loss of loved ones around me were going
to take its toll. You see my father had several strokes in the previous months and had blood clots
on the brain. The doctors told my brothers and I that it was just a matter of time. I had flown from
Los Angeles to Sacramento several times, since my father entered the hospital, to be at his bedside
in Chico. Time is something my father no longer had.
I was having a great deal of difficulty dealing with the loss of an old friend and the
illness of my father. I spent a lot of time thinking about my father and found myself writing
my thoughts down and praying.
I guess I should mention that I make Butterflies. Large hand crafted, hand painted Butterflies.
I have always been interested in Butterflies since I was a child of 5 years old. I majored in
art in high school and collage but wound up being a part of the corporate business world for many
years. I finally began doing what I wanted to do, be creative and make people smile and make
something beautiful to look at. I took 53 years to get there, but I finally did.
Easter was very near and I had to do something to get my
thoughts clear from the depression I was feeling. I elected to do something for my church.
I decided to make
small 3 inch Butterflies in purple with the words 'He has risen' in smaller letters on the
wings. They were to be given to every family after the Easter service. That's when I began to
look at some of the notes I had written down while dealing with my deceased friend and sick father.
I decided to write a blessing. A blessing about what? It had to tie into Easter, but how? Then it struck
me, why not write a Butterfly Blessing. I had been told in my youth that the Butterfly was the
sign of ascension. Now I had two projects to keep me very busy.
The time past quickly, too quickly. It was the Monday before Easter Sunday. The
Pastor from my church had called after reading the Butterfly Blessing I had written.
She was just short of tears while asking me if I would read this special Blessing at the
end of her Easter Service. I tried to decline and asked if she would read it.
'Not a chance she said'. 'God made you write this Blessing for a reason'. I was at a loss
for words. So I accepted her challenge. Not knowing what was to come.
Later that afternoon I received another phone call. 'Jim', my youngest brother said. 'Dad's Gone'.
'He passed an hour ago'. Now my spirit drops to the floor along with me. I must go to my mother and
younger brothers in northern California to say Good-bye to my father. Now I knew why I wrote
the 'Butterfly Blessing'.
I was unable to read the blessing in church that Sunday but each and every family from
our church received a beautiful Purple Butterfly and a copy of this 'Butterfly Blessing'
I had written----- for my father. (Click HERE for copy)
- Colleen Armstrong, Groton, NY, USA
- My sister, Cheryl, was a missionary in Indonesia. Along
with her husband and five children, they served a three year
term and then came home for a year furlough before returning
for another three year term. My sister was very happy to
be going back to Indonesia. They arrived at the beginning
of July 1996. On the morning of July 16, after only being
in the country for a little over a week, the car my sister
and three of her women friends were riding in, was hit by
a public bus. My sister, only 41 years old, and another woman, were killed
instantly. The other two women in the car suffered critical
injuries and had to be flown to Australia for medical
attention. Later, we found out that the driver of the
public bus had been drinking. She is buried in Indonesia;
however, we held a memorial service here in New York. I
seem to have a tendency to write about the people I love
when they die, and as I tried to think of what to write
about my sister, a butterfly came to me and I sat down
to write. This is what I wrote and what I read at her
Butterflies are one of the most beautiful things in the
world. They flutter their brightly colored wings so
quietly you hardly know they are there. But when you do
notice them, their vivid colors and their beauty strike
you with a feeling of wonder and peace.
My sister Cheryl was like a butterfly. She fluttered
about so quietly, landed on our shoulder for awhile, and
shared her beauty. And, now sadly, she has flown away.
Cheryl's life, in a way, mirrored that of a butterfly. She
went through the typical life stages wrapped in the
chrysalis of her family's love. A love that guided her
and supported her, and most of all, showed her the power
Cheryl learned those lessons well. She was always there
for her family - returning the love she was given many
times over. Like a butterfly, she had a calm influence
over everyone she met. She did this so subtly that you
didn't know it until sometime later - after the butterfly
You could say that her ""metamorphosis"" occurred when she
became a woman in Christ. When she committed herself to
the missions, she did this with the strongest faith I
have ever seen. But again, the wings were fluttering so
softly she never had to force you to listen, you just knew
by the peaceful look on her face when she spoke about the
bible and their mission work, that she truly believed and
that she was not afraid to fly.
She was a wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother and
aunt. She was always the quiet one - always fluttering
about making sure everyone's needs were taken care of,
always putting everyone else first. She flew around to
so many places - touching down on so many people to share
the word of God, and all the time sharing her own beauty
and leaving us with that feeling of wonder and peace.
They say that to make a wish come true, the Native
Americans would whisper it to a butterfly, which would
carry it to the Great Spirit in Heaven. And there the
wish would be granted. Cheryl carried with her so many wishes to the Great
Spirit in Heaven where her beautiful butterfly wings
have now turned into angel wings.
So the next time you witness the freedom and beauty of a
butterfly, make a wish and realize that you may have just
been touched by an angel named Cheryl.
Now, whenever I am outside, there is a butterfly around
me, and I know that it is Cheryl telling me that she is
happy with God and not to grieve for her, but to celebrate
her life in the beauty and the colors of nature.
- Suzanne, North Vancouver, BC, CANADA
- A Tribute to my Grandmama:
As a child, growing up in California, I developed a love and respect for butterflies and moths...
(and pretty much all living things)...but, at that time, I was very focused on
butterflies, moths, and especially caterpillars. My father used to tell me they were
all ""pests"" and I should not even bother with them. I ignored his advice and continued to
be fascinated. I was a child, 6-8 years at that time. I would find what I called ""fuzzy brown
caterpillars"". Finally, my mother bought me an insect keeper, the kind you can't get any more. I
would find one of these caterpillars, catch it, then give it food (especially lettuce), always
making sure it would like it's new home. Then, I would wait patiently. First, for it to form
a cocoon. After that, I would wait for what seemed like forever to a child - I waited to
see the transformation.
My grandmama was such a wonderful lady. She always had the time to appreciate the
beautiful things in life. When I first told her that my caterpillar was going to
go into hiding, then, be re-born as a butterfly or a moth...she wondered what I was
talking about. My grandmama had a very limited English vocabulary...her first language was French.
She learned English on her own. She was amazed one year, to watch a new life come into the world.
She had little or no knowledge of butterflies etc...only what she would learn from me. She was
amazed that, in her words, ""I could make butterflies"". Year after year, when my caterpillars
turned into butterflies or moths...my grandmama's eyes would sparkle like a child's eyes...and she
truly was amazed. She could not understand how or why these fuzzy creatures could transform. She
didn't care really care to know how or why the caterpillars could transform itself into a completely
new body. My grandmama just appreciated their beauty and believed it was a miracle. She
always used to say that I was special because I could make butterflies. So, we left it at
that, and just accepted the miracle of transformation. Ever since, we shared a special bond
because she believed in me.
My grandmama also knew that I loved anything living...and
encouraged me to learn more and to have fun at the same time. One year, my grandmama was
visiting and I inevitably had a caterpillar waiting to be re-born. It's an incredible
feeling to be able to set free, something as special as a butterfly. At least, that's how we
looked at it. One year, she arrived just in time to see the beautiful monarch butterfly emerge
from it's cocoon. She was, at first, nervous to handle something so tiny and frail...but,
she did anyway. There she was, standing in the back yard, with a monarch in the palm of her
hand. At that time, my grandmama's eyes were those of a child. My grandmama held the
butterfly as it prepared to fly away. She believed this was one of the most beautiful
things in life, and, she was able to participate.
I would always send her butterfly pictures
so she could enjoy looking at the different types of butterflies and moths. In addition, I
would always send her birthday cards and other greeting cards - all with butterflies. The
last birthday card I sent to her was a beautiful story about butterflies. This particular
card had a perforated edge that one could use as a bookmark for reading. It had a wonderful
saying (when I find it, I would love to share it). Anyhow, I knew my grandmama was ill, and I
was terrified of losing her. I removed the bookmark and kept it in a special place. As it
turned out, that was the last card I would ever send her. I cried for such a long time, (even
now, she's special in my heart)... who would encourage me now? Who would be as amazed as my
grandmama and I? All I knew then was that she loved me and that nobody could replace her.
I wondered how I would get through life. I was a child and just did not understand death.
I decided one day, to continue to ""make butterflies"" (grandmama's words) long after she went
to heaven. Then, I grew up, became an adult, and somewhere along the way, I stopped ""making
butterflies"". It just was never going to be the same without her...
Two years ago, this week, I have been in Canada with my family. There were many tragic events
that happened during those years and I was very depressed and sadness had filled my heart. My
mom talks about grandmama everyday and she still misses her so much it hurts. Last year,
I found a fuzzy caterpillar! With the enthusiasm of a
child, I gently picked him up and made a home for my new caterpillar. Even though I am an
adult, I was overwhelmed with sadness that she could not be here to experience the wonder of
transformation and re-birth.
Yet, I continued to watch, finally, my caterpillar had started
to settle in. It would soon be inside it's cocoon which it built in a dried up leaf. I waited,
and waited, and waited...my mom, even this week, kept telling me that it was dead. I immediately
became that little child with so much faith and told her that there was no way it was dead. I
believed the caterpillar would emerge as a butterfly or a moth, and I prepared myself for a long
wait. And...I waited a long time!
Today, I went to do my daily check. I was really looking carefully, and then noticed
that something was moving. I watched, for a long time, as it came out of it's cocoon - completely
transformed. I now have the beautiful creature - a white moth with a colorful body underneath.
I felt like the same little girl discovering how amazing life is. Despite hearing ""it's dead""
too many times, here was this new life form. My mom and dad came home and were wondering why I
was so happy. I said ""I told you it wasn't dead..."", to my mom. So many times mom had suggested
that I throw it away...I didn't. I kept my faith.
Right now, the moth is still preparing to
fly...I hope to release it tonight so that he has a chance to live, before being spotted by a
bird. I am amazed. Some people would most likely think that I was ""not all there"" so to
speak...but, I don't care. It's a miracle in my eyes and it brought back so many memories
of my grandmama. I was crying, disappointed that grandmama couldn't be here, with me, to
set it free...I know she is with me, watching from heaven...and probably saying ""You are
such a special little girl who makes butterflies"". I believe that her kind spirit is
still with me. The ring she gave me before she died, is sparkling like never before.
That's when I can sense she's with me.
I went outside for a few minutes, and I found a single fuzzy caterpillar. So...I am beginning
the process all over again...
Life is short and it really is important to appreciate all life has to offer...to me...finding
another caterpillar on the same day the first one emerged, is a sign that my grandmama is with
me...I just wish I could place the moth in the palm of her hand and let it fly away. Who knows?
Maybe it will fly to heaven...
Never lose faith in what you believe. If I had, I wouldn't have been able to witness the
re-birth of this little creature...
I guess that's it for now. I am hoping to find out what species it is, yet, that's not
important. It is important that I helped something live, grow, change, and then set free!!!
I will never forget my grandmama...this story is for her.
- Selena Simon
- Victorious Wings, a Father's Day Remembrance.
- Zita Matthies, Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND
- One Sunday afternoon, I came home and the garden filled
with Monarch butterflies. I watched them for a few
moments, filled with delight as they flitted about. It was
then that I discovered one that had only 1-1/2 wings
and could not fly far. ""Where did you come from""? I asked,
but it made no reply. I picked it up off the grass and
placed it on a crackerjack, where it immediately started
This ritual became a daily thing, several times
throughout the day, moving him from flower to flower.
Sometimes it would take me a little while to find him, and
I would discover he had flown a few metres, so I always
had to be careful where I trod in case he was on the
ground. Once I went to move him and couldn't find him at
all, but when I came back a few hours later, there he was!
And so again, he was put to a fresh flower,and food! You
could feel the excitement in his body as he ate! It was
such an awesome experience and a real privilege to
look after this special butterfly. Finally, with rain
impending, I decided to pick a vase of flowers and bring
him inside. Well, he disappeared again, and for 24 hours I
blamed the cat! But there he was again, and ate greedily!
What I admired the most about this special butterfly was
his strong determined will to survive against all odds.
I knew the day he was dying, and thanked him for the lesson he
taught me in life. I will never forget my special butterfly.
- Rob Rasbach, Ansonia, CT, USA
- I remember when I was a boy about 8 years old, a time
came when I was able to catch some butterflies in my
mother's garden. I was fascinated by the colors, shapes,
symmetry and patterns on their wings. They came in such
an assortment that delighted the eyes. They were like
flying flowers that existed for such a short time with
the purpose mostly for visual enjoyment so I thought.
I remember holding them and seeing the colored dust come
off onto my fingers.
I was amazed at God's creativity and a few years later I
was drawn still deeper as I considered these marvels of
creation through high power magnification. The scales
displayed tremendous architecture and detail that could
not be fully appreciated unless viewed with high power
instruments and printed as full color pictures in books
my parents bought for me. My delight turned to awe as I observed these scales that
were opaque, translucent, iridescent, transparent and
prismatic in endless design and color.
When I was 11, I found a Monarch egg on Milkweed plants
that hatched into a hungry caterpillar. He ate until
the day he spun his chrysalis. I went to camp and the
butterfly emerged so Mom let it out. I never did see
the final transformation but some time later we visited
the Butterfly store in NY. I remember Mr Glanz giving
me a cocoon. ""Take this and see what you will get"". A
few months later this huge 6"" Polyphemus Moth came out.
The whole family was amazed to see it unfold it's wings.
But then I struggled with killing it. ""Forgive me God
for killing this moth for my collection. . it will only
live a few days. . . and it will never find it's mate
around here and besides it's perfect and I can show it
and tell the story for years to come but despite our
extensive traveling across the US and Canada, I was
never able to see or catch the large beautiful Luna Moth
that I always wanted.
And so it was that I put away the things of youth as
fond memories, always remembering the splendor of God's
creation that I first saw in flowers and butterfly colors
in my mother's garden.
By the time I was 17, we had been living at our new lake
home for 5 years. We were living the life of luxury and
as a teenager, I lacked nothing. My father and I flew
together on many weekends in the company helicopter and
I was working on my student pilots license for fixed
I had toured the USA, Europe and Canada, was attending a
top private school, had a fast car, boats and all the
fine food. On August 6th, 1970 I was speeding up our 1/4
mile driveway on my dirt bike all bored and thinking ""all
this stuff and I am depressed and feel hollow inside"".
This was the last conscious thought I had. I don't
remember seeing my mother coming in down the hill and
was told I had such speed as I was unable to stop so I
hit her car. My sister rushed out of the car to wrestle
the bike away as an authoritative voice commanded her
. . . ""You must breathe for your brother"". I was
clinging to life in a coma for several days. I had
internal injuries, broken pelvis, broken left leg, head
injuries and road rash.
When it was over, it was clear
that my sister had saved my life. Three weeks later
most of the terrible pain was over and I was back home
and thankful to be alive. A new appreciation for the
Love of my family, health, food and all the other things
we take for granted swelled in my heart. As I sat on
the patio that overlooks the lake, I took in the gentle
breeze that aways carried the scent of pine and I soaked
in the warmth of the late summer sun. As I thanked God
for sparing my life, several large butterflies soared in
majestically to visit the flowers around the patio. In
my mind I was back in my mother's garden appreciating
them and looking at the colored dust that came off onto
my fingers. I thought, ""God, don't let me forget these
things that you have made that mean more than the things
Several years went by, the steel pin in my leg was
removed and I resumed a fully normal life, entered the
college of my choice and partied hard for the first three
years. By my Junior year I recognized that hollowness
creeping in all over again. I was headed down the wrong
path of typical college life that tried to fit in with
the rest of my peers. After one weekend of partying, I
had had enough. I remember getting down on my knees and
saying ""God, I know you are there, somewhere. I have
seen your glory in this great land and in Butterfly
colors from my youth. I need for you to show me the way
to go. What is the truth? I hate religions and
hypocrites. You have my attention, show me what's next.
While home on Easter break, I picked up my sister's
""Living Bible"" which is a easy to read version. I
remembered reading in one of my books that the butterfly
is seen as a symbol of the resurrection. I grabbed the
bookmark card and began to read it. The words pierced my
heart like an armor shell. ""All have sinned and fall
short of the Glory of God."" ""The wages of sin is death""
(separation from God) Accept God's Remedy ""I am the Way,
The Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but
through me"" (Jesus). I accepted the Easter message
quietly and felt a tremendous burden lift off me. I was
free like the butterfly in April 1975. To remember this
time in my life, I put together 2 collections of the most
spectacular specimens I could find. Most of these remain
to this day. But the times they have been displayed have
only been few over the past 25 years, that is until last
Saturday June 5th 1999 when God spoke clearly to me by
circumstance and with scripture in my heart.
I went on a retreat with 6 other men to relax, pray and
seek the Lord in Tolland, Connecticut. We arrived Friday
night and my thoughts turned to concerns over financial
matters and God's provision and direction for my life.
I remembered the song that was sung a few months ago at
the Full Gospel Businessmen's Convention by Ronn Jones-
""His eye is on the Sparrow and I know he's watching over
me. . . "" ""Please God, let me know that you have things
in control"", I prayed.
The next day a festival was held in that small town.
The Rhododendrons were in full bloom and a crowd was
standing nearby looking at something. ""what is that?""
they said. There was a Hummingbird Moth hovering in and
around the flowers. Just then several Tiger Swallowtails
came in to join the party. I carefully grabbed one to
show a little boy who smiled with delight. ""Our God is an
awesome creator."" I said to the boy and his parents as I
let the creature fly off.
That night we finished supper and went for a walk. A
friend asked how my kids were and I replied, ""well nearly
40 years have come and gone since I was my daughter's age.
Kristen is 7 and Justin is 10. Now she is interested in
collecting butterflies and moths. Today they have all
but disappeared. She is happy to catch anything, but you
know, I never was able to catch that Luna Moth I always
wanted as a kid and I wish I could get one now for her.
The sun went down, we got back to the cabin and 2 hours
later there was something flashing in the lights outside.
""It looks like a bat"" Sal said. I ran outside to catch
with my hand a Polyphemus Moth which is the same species
that hatched from the cocoon. As I stepped back toward
the door another large moth came at me and landed on my
pant leg. I quickly picked it up, something that God
himself had ordered up just for this time in my life and
not before, a perfect Luna Moth!
""I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free!, His
eye is on the Sparrow and I KNOW, He's watching over me.""
""My son,with patience and love I have formed you and
watched you grow. Your days have been ordained by me
and I have examined you to see the day of faith rising
in your heart. Know that I am the Lord who keeps you,
watches over you and shows you the way you should go.""
May God Bless all those who read this message, whether
they collect or just appreciate Butterflies and Moths.
I think that most of us can agree with God when He says
in Romans 1 that His wisdom and divine order can be seen
from that which is made so that men are without excuse.
When we behold the creation, it bears that testimony
of our loving Creator.
- Kyle, Flint, MI, USA
- Although my Monarch Caterpillar was bought from J. J. Cardinal's, it still has its normal
instinct. I used to think that a metamorphosis was boring until now. I have heard that the
Monarch Butterfly population was decreasing and that they needed humans to help breed these
small, fragile creatures. We bought it and they supplied us with some food. They said it
would take about a week to turn into a cocoon because the one I received was plump and almost
ready. I've had it a few days and it is so neat and sorta funny when it eats. One time it had a
small piece in its grasp and it was getting too small for it to handle. It started falling out of
his hands and he started tilting to catch it. The more it fell out of his grasp the more he tilted
until finally !PLOP! He fell over on his side. Now that was a sight.
- David Rasmussen, Gordonsville, TN, USA
- Last night I sat out on the porch and was taking in a couple deep
breaths of the cool night air. I listened to the tree frogs and young
bull frogs and every now and then heard the faint sound of a cricket.
They soon will be the loudest in our nature summer symphony. A
splash of night breeze dingled the wind chimes, rustled my hair and
filed my senses. I inhaled a bouquet of wild rose, poplar tree
flowers and honey suckle.
In this relaxing meditation state of mind I traveled with my senses
and concentrated on sounds, smells, and touch. I eventually started
hearing a sound that I couldn't place. It almost sounded like a faint
rain dripping through the leaves. There being almost a full moon and
a complete blanket of stars I knew it couldn't be rain drops. I
listened deeper. Then looking out through the forest in-between the
moonlight shadows I figured it out. I yelled into Sharon ""They're
coming...."" She came out to the porch asking who's coming. I told
her to close her eyes, listen and to hold out her hand. It only took a
few minutes until a familiar little green caterpillar with a black face
dropped into her lap. She jumped and then smiled.
The sound we were hearing was the millions of young caterpillars
chewing and pooing. Over the next week or so they will
start building their cocoons and by the last week in May
they will stretch their young wings and fill the hollow. Words and
pictures can't come close to describing and showing what it's like to
be among a million butterflies. You have to be here to believe it.
In the mean time if you would like to see more pictures and hear
how our farm, Butterfly Hollow got its name stop by our
- Marlene Evans, Lapeer, MI, USA
- My stepfather was an entomologist and we grew up with the
most beautiful and extensive collection anyone could imagine. He had butterflies from all
over the world and received almost daily shipments from the Jesuit priests in the jungle who
collected butterflies for a living. Because of his wonderful collection, my teachers in the
elementary grades could hardly wait to have me in their classroom, because each semester, my
parents invited my teacher over for dinner and a view of the butterfly collection. I was
also proud as well as a little shy about my teacher being in our house, eating dinner and
spending the evening, looking at some of his collection. I can tell you, the class always heard
of it the nest day and how I must have beamed.
- Deborah Wilson, Richmond, VA, USA
- About a year ago I went through a metamorphosis. I actually felt God wrapping my entire
body up with silk symbolic to caterpillars when they build a cocoon. Then I emerged from the
cocoon with wings. I felt God breath on me and I heard Him say "You are now a beautiful butterfly,
one of my angels."
Also, one night I was so frightened. I couldn't sleep. I was so scared that someone was
trying to break into my house and harm me. The next morning when I opened by front door I
saw the most incredible, beautiful butterfly. It was huge. It was lime green with black spots.
I looked at it and its beauty took my breath away. I heard God say, "Fear not, I have sent my
angels to protect you."
- Amanda Dennison, Sheffield, MA, USA
- Today I was outside with my dog when I noticed a
butterfly lying in my driveway, so I went inside and got
a piece of paper to put him on and brought him inside. We
found that he was injured and gave him water and a place
to sleep. I'm not sure what kind he is but he is yellow
and black with small spots of orange and blue on the
bottom of his wings. I have always loved butterflies but
never had the experience to be this close to a real one.
- Linda Garrett-Westbrook, Nashville, TN, USA
- Just finished reading all of the stories that people have
shared about their butterfly experiences and decided to
add mine to the list.
My Mother and I had always talked about death and the
possibility of being able to communicate after one had
passed over. We agreed that whoever went first would let
the one that remained know that they were ok.
She was in the hospital for 3 weeks before she died. I was
with her day and night, only going home to bathe and
change clothes. On the morning of the day she died, she
told me that she wanted me to hold her for awhile so I
climbed on the bed and put her head on my shoulder, she
closed her eyes and after about 15 minutes I knew she was
on her way home. That night a terrible storm passed over
the hospital and as I stood by her bed I told God that
since he was in the neighborhood Mommie was ready to go
home with him. At 10:55 pm she took her last breath and I
was privileged to witness the most amazing transformation
I have ever seen in my life. As I stood and watched the
years,the pain, the misery just slip from my Mothers face.
It was truly the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
After burying Mommie I returned home and for weeks I
would sit in my kitchen and look out the windows and
think of Mommie. To my amazement there were hundreds of
butterflies just fluttering around the windows, It was as
tho they were checking up on me. Somehow I knew they were
connected to Mommie. They were never there before and
never came again. So everytime I would see a butterfly I
would think Mommies watching me.
One year after her death I went to Georgia and invited
her friends and pastor to go out to dinner to celebrate
Mommies life,to remember her on this day. I had her
favorite flowers (stargazerliles) on the table and we all
enjoyed a great meal and shared memories of her. After we
left I went to her grave and sat for awhile talking to
her. I told her how much I loved her and how very much I
missed her and please let me know she was ok now. I left
the flowers and went to the motel.
The next morning I decided to go to the waffle house as
it was one of her favorite places to eat. As my husband
and I were eating I saw this beautiful butterfly flying
around our car, it would land on the hood then fly around
the car again. I told my husband that was Mommie, he said
you are probably right. We finished eating and went out to
the car, the butterfly was sitting on the hood, I stood and
looked at it and I said Mommie if that is you land on my
hand. To my amazement the butterfly flew to the palm of my
hand and just sat there slowly moving its wings up and
down, looking at me. I had to fight the urge to close my
hand and keep her. I knew that I had to let her fly away,
She had let me know that she is beautiful, she's free and
she can fly forever.
- Coventry, CT, USA
- This story was shared with me by a dear friend who lost 2 of her adult children as well
as her husband to cancer in the last 12 years. Before she lost her daughter, Leslie, at
the young age of 30, Leslie told her mom that if she ever came back it would be as a butterfly.
She loved to garden and was an outdoor, get your hands dirty kinda girl. Leslie left behind a
loving family. To honor her children my friend keeps small memorial gardens named for them in
her beautiful woodland lot. It had been a long time since Leslie had been gone when her nephew,
Chris was graduating from high school. The whole family was gathered at the ceremony when a
fascinating thing happened which touched the whole family. There on the stage with Christopher,
was a butterfly dancing all around him. There was no doubt in my friend's mind as to 'who' that
butterfly was, nor in anyone else who knew Leslie. One of the special touches to Leslie's garden
has been the accents of decorative butterflies! This story may or may not touch you as it has
Leslie's family and myself but I couldn't resist sharing it as it is true.
- Rick Mikula, Hazleton, PA, USA
- (On the death of his nephew) - On Friday night, my nephew
passed away. Like a true butterfly
he brought only joy and brightened the lives of everyone
him. Butterflies can be fragile but are amazingly strong.
many obstacles to overcome in their short lives, never once
complain. They just go on, creating a more beautiful world
Neil had to experience a metamorphosis. It was confusing and
often hard to
understand but he never complained. On Friday night he
received his wings.
Released from his earthbound chamber he now soars above
by warm winds and love, he can fly free, happy and
- Lara S, Dallas, TX, USA
- One day about 5 years ago, I was shopping for a very special gift for a very dear friend, I
wanted the perfect gift, so I had looked for hours. Then at a bookstore, I looked and looked and I
was just leaving when I saw a book my favorite color, Lemon Yellow. On the cover was two big
Butterflies with two little caterpillars at the bottom that were reading the note on the cover. It
was so cute, I had to read it right there! The book had a big picture on every page and big letters,
it looked like a child's book, but it is really an EVERYBODY book. It took about 20 minutes to read,
and I had finally found my gift! This was the best book I could give anyone, except for the Bible of
course. I now give the book to everyone I care for, the book says it all. It's about life and hope,
hope for better things, hope for life! The name of the book is called ""Hope For The Flowers"" by
Trina Paulus. It only costs about $10.00.
so if you are a butterfly fanatic, you have to have this book, it is so inspirational!!!!
Anyway, I met my soul-mate later on and I gave him this book, and now together we love butterflies,
I am now yellow and he is Stripe. Any butterfly lovers are invited to
e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Brenda Sandhouse, Pembroke Pines, FL, USA
- I'm often lonely and unhappy. But when I have a friend (butterfly) on me or near me,
I'm happy. They are what cheer me up.
- Barbara Wilkerson, Baltimore, MD, USA
- When my mother, a good woman, my real true honest and encouraging friend died - Margaret Davis,
I was hurt so badly and grieved so long, had no one to talk to, no one at all knew my deepest pain.
On the day after her funeral, I was sitting on the porch all alone,
thinking about my mother, how I was not there because I had moved to Spartanburg South
Carolina from Baltimore. If I was home, maybe she would not have died,
why did God take her away?, why?, why?, why?, then I began to just think about the past, the
good times, the chastising times, the days I would just miss her, oh how I would miss her. And as
I began to open my mouth and speak to the air, this BIG, BEAUTIFUL, BUTTERFLY flew on the porch and
landed on the wall and listened to me as I spoke. I asked the butterfly, ""are you my mother"",
because in my last letter and poem that I wrote to my mother I used a butterfly as my watermark
graphic. And since the butterfly was on the paper, I thought mother came to sit with me.
Well I grieved for nearly 2 years, and I had to do things by myself, with no mother to tell me how,
when, or even to encourage me that I can do it. But every time I accomplished something on my own, a
butterfly would always appear, even in the night, on the bus stop and even at my daughter's school.
I had just met a man and was in his car and this large butterfly flew onto the driver side windshield
and stayed for a long time, even as we had driven to the store, it was still there, and within my
heart I knew that was my mother. Now that I am a born again Christian, many messages that I hear
being spoken by pastors, teachers, prophets, etc., is about the metamorphosis that a butterfly goes
through and how we shall change as well. Well, I thank God for the butterflies as well as people lives.
- Nancy Thornton, Lemont, IL, USA
- Several Baltimore Checkerspots had been seen along
the path but I wanted to know if the population
was sustaining itself. The only way to prove that was
to find some turtlehead, the butterfly's larval food
source. My sister Cindy and I started walking
in the wet meadow which turned to a swampy mess
and just as we were about to give up, spattered with
muck, I spotted the turtlehead! It even had a
discarded skin casing on one leaf. We jumped up
and down and lost all our footing and fell in the mud
and it was the happiest bit of fun. Later that year
Cindy's cancer came back and she died a slow and
painful death at the age of 49. But that silly joy
and muddy trek looking for Baltimore Checkerspots
with my sister will stay with me forever.
- Brad Carlson, Minden, IA, USA
- My father may have been the one who opened the door
for my interest in butterflies and moths, but it has been
my grandmother who has done more than anyone else to foster
that interest. Ever since I was in the second grade, my
grandmother and I have taken many trips afield and have
been to places like Fontanelle Forest, De Soto Bend National
Wildlife Refuge, Rocky Mountain National Park, Barr Lake,
Chatfield Dam, and Neale Woods. Every single trip has
brought us something new to see, from the Snow Geese
migrations in December to watching ebony Magdalena Alpines
nectaring on dainty pink campion flowers in late July.
Just after finishing my sophomore year in college nearly
two years ago, I went on a two-week long biology field trip
offered through Iowa State University's Study Abroad Center in
conjunction with the University of Costa Rica with about twenty
other students, living the first step of my lifelong dream to
study and farm butterflies in the tropics. Although the overall
scope of our trip to about 10 different national parks and
preserves was much larger than my interest in insects, me and
two of my fellow colleagues in Iowa State's entomology department,
Clint Pilcher and Jared Ostrem, were there with me so that we could
bring back a fine sample of what Costa Rica had to offer for Iowa
State's collection. The only thing missing during this trip was
the companionship of my grandmother, the one who had fostered my
interest and fanned the flames to make it grow. I wanted very
badly to see and then be able to take a picture of a morpho butterfly
for her, and possibly catch one.
While on layover in San Jose between a trip from Haciena Solimar
to El Estacion Biologica de La Selva, we were considering a visit to
the Alajuela butterfly farm. It was there where I hoped to get a
close-up picture of a morhpo for my grandmother, but as luck would
have it, everyone decided against visiting the butterfly farm, so I
had to hope beyond hope that I would get that picture of a morpho.
I wanted that picture so badly so that I could give a piece of my trip
to my grandmother because I had shown her pictures of morhpos in my books
before, and they were by far her favorite butterflies. That's also why
I wanted to catch her one too.
When we reached La Selva, I was anxious and apprehensive. Clint and
Jared had brought the collecting equipment we needed, but they had lost
their bait trap gear back in San Jose. Our field leader, Oscar Rocha, was
able to scrap a makeshift bait trap together, but there was still the issue
of what to use for bait. Our itinerary called for only a three day visit
in La Selva, so I knew that we would have to act quick. For the first two
days of our visit, we set out ripe and rotting bananas in our trap, and got
nothing. I was starting to get uneasy, especially since the last day in La
Selva would be almost strict research (we had a project to do and present with
a partner). The next day, I set out early to get my project notes and summary
done. Noon hit, and I was starting to get very depressed. I had seen a Morpho
peleides fly just over my head on our way to the barracks when we first arrived,
but I didn't have a net handy. And I had seen a Morpho amathonte the day before,
way below me while I was walking on a bridge. Then it hit me...how could I have
been so stupid? How could I have missed such an obvious oversight? I knew that
baiting morphos with bright blue objects was nearly twice as effective as baiting
for them, so I set out during a period of dead time just after my lunch. Two o'clock
found me on one of many of La Selva's fine nature trails deep into the forest. I had
my trusty bright blue raincoat with me, and not just for morpho attraction either! :-)
I waited for the light drizzle to subside before I finally was able to tie my coat up
in one of the trees high above. Then, I waited...and waited...and waited. 4 o'clock
found me still apprehensively waiting, and I was getting very sad and anxious. I would
have to start back in 15 minutes, because the walk back was a good 45 minutes and supper
would start in about an hour. I had to get cleaned up for supper and our presentation
just afterwards too. Then, I saw a dark sapphire flash out of the corner of my eye.
Probably a Morpho peleides limpida, the most common morhp endemic to Costa Rica I thought
The morpho alighted with its wings spread, then hovered around the coat. I slowly lowered
the coat without disturbing the morpho's hovering pattern, getting it to within focal distance
of my camera. When I finally worked my coat down to the ground, the morpho finally perched on
it, with its wings partially spread. Perfect shot! I could get a view of the contrasting sapphire
wings and the dark brown underside with it's spectacularly huge eyespots. It was then that I realized
that what I was watching wasn't a Morpho peleides either, but rather a Morpho amathonte! I was ecstatic.
Although I had seen a Morpho amathonte just the day before, it was a rarity...the most difficult of
Costa Rica's morhpos to photograph and obtain! I snapped the shot, and then quickly netted the morpho
for my grandmother. But then, a twang of guilt came over me. I looked at the butterfly as it fluttered
helplessly in my net and saw how raw, powerful, and beautiful it was. It was so pristine and perfect...
Everytime my grandmother had seen something as beautiful and powerful as that before, and she had
a chance at catching it, she would let it go, and she instructed me to do the same thing every time. Was
that trophy that would be on her wall worth the guilt I would have by killing it when she probably would
have let it go? I weighed both sides of the argument before finally letting the big, burly, and priceless
Five minutes later, I saw why I had reason to be glad. Right above me, in plain sight on a bare twig
of all places, was the shed exuviae of a berry-like, green cocoon. The Morpho amathonte had just emerged
from its cocoon before our encounter. I thanked God for letting that innocent, pure, and pristine morpho
go. That butterfly had its whole life to live, and somehow, I think my grandmother knew too. I think that's
why I got the message when I did.
Meanwhile, something strange was happening back at the bait trap. When I got back, imagine my surprise
when Jared and Clint had managed to bait three morhpos! One for Jared's collection, one for Clint's, and
one for Iowa State's department. They were all peleides. Just as they were papering the morphos they caught
from the bait trap, a Morpho amathonte alighted in it! Jared was ready to lunge for it, but I said, ""Uh uh, this
one's mine."" Just before I was to eat supper and do my presentation, I netted a Morpho amathonte, and my grandmother
had peace of mind, a picture, and now, a specimen. Things couldn't have gone better!
When I got back and showed my grandmother the prize I caught her, she told me it was the best gift she had
ever gotten. She also told me that on the same day I took the picture of the Morpho amathonte, she was thinking
about me and what I would do if I had caught one for her. I told her about how I let that first one go to live
its life, and she said, after looking at how breathtakingly beautiful the picture was, that she wouldn't have had
it any other way.
The capper on this whole story is that just as we left La Selva the next morning, a Morpho amathonte guided us
as we left, hovering right next to the seat where Jared, Clint, and I were sitting. I think it was the same one that
I had let go just the day before, and that he was thanking me for letting him live on
- Mariposa, San Antonio, TX, USA
- Since I was a little girl the beauty of butterflies fascinated me. As I grew older I found out
that butterflies symbolized ""eternal life."" My father passed away when I was very young and
everytime I see a butterfly I remember that my father's memory will never die, and that someday I
too will live in a place and have eternal life.
- Michelle Garner, OK, USA
- I was driving to my Mother's grave site and I felt bad
and sad that I had no money to go buy flowers to
lay on her grave. Grave sites that looked neglected had always made me upset. My
Mom had only been buried a very short
time and I had already decided to visit her grave often
and to keep it nice and keep flowers on it. I just had to get my
Mom some flowers. She didn't have a head stone yet and I
wanted people to know that a person was buried there not
just some grass and dirt. It wasn't too long before I saw
a field of sunflowers growing thick and tall so I decided to
pull over and pick some. Mom had always loved flowers and
wildflowers were her favorite so I felt like
everything might just work out after all. I got out of my car
and I went to a cluster of sunflowers. As I started to pull on
one of the sunflowers I saw something move out of the corner of
my eye I turned my head and saw more than several Monarch
butterflies! Some fluttered just above a select few sunflowers
while the others seemed content on staying put. I was
filled with joy at the sight of them. Butterflies have
always given me joy since I was a little girl. The sight
of them brought me back to the day we had funeral services
for my Mom. After the service, people filed out into the parking lot.
As I went out side to thank everyone for coming and
invite them over to my house I
saw a little yellow butterfly fly past me and it kind of flew around me awhile
and shortly, it flew off. I smiled a little to myself thinking ""I wonder if that was
Mom somehow coming to see how I was and to tell me that she is ok now?"" Well,
with that and now this what seemed to be a ""field of butterflies"" I just
felt a calm come over me and I praised God because I just had to thank the
maker of all of it. I also lifted my head a little toward the sky and I said
out loud ""Mother I love and miss you so very much!"" and I felt like
she might have heard me. I do believe that butterflies have
some special purpose in our lives. Perhaps to heal and they certainly share their
beauty with us, but, maybe there's more to it than that
If so, I'm glad that they have shared themselves with me.
- Janie Ramsey, Garrison, TX, USA
- Our daughter Julee died on December 4, 1997 as a result of injuries sustained in a car
accident. She was 12, one week away from her 13th birthday. One day as her Dad and I were
at the cemetery visiting her as we do because we miss her so much, a butterfly lit on her
grave as we stood there. I have read about butterflies and them being there for the those
left behind. That day we were so surprised to see one and especially to light on her grave.
- Cheryl, Columbia, MO, USA
- When I had reached my sophomore year in highschool, I thought that me and the Lord had a
really good relationship. I figured that I didn't need anything to help me grow at all.
Then one of my best friend's mothers asked me to go on a retreat by the name of
Chrysalis. In my mind I did not want to go because I knew for sure that it could
not help me in anyway. But, as God works so wonderfully, I filled out the application
to go and was soon scheduled in February.
I arrived at the retreat center on a Friday, after a two hour, early morning drive.
All morning I searched for things that were wrong, and that didn't match up with the
word of God.
Chrysalis is a three day retreat where symbolically you go from a caterpillar on the
first day, die with Christ on the second day as a cocoon, and rise with Christ on the
third day as a butterfly. Wow, this weekend totally broke me and humbled me to Christ's
work. And I realized that we're always growing and changing, to better ourselves.
As a new ""butterfly"" for Christ I now help with as much of the Chrysalis retreats
that I can, and hope I can bring an ""un-needy"" soul back to their true desire, Christ.
- Robin Greaves, Durban, KwaZulu, South Africa
- I am a keen lepidopterist living in South Africa.
I work as a pilot and on certain flights I have noticed a large forest in a
very remote part of Zululand.
My wife and I took time off and attempted to drive to the forest in our Jeep.
After a whole day of hard 4X4 work we managed to reach the forest.
We were immediatly amazed to find that this great forest was unspoiled and
intact; not only was there evidense of dramatic species diversity but in all
of my travels around South Africa I have never seen such big trees.
The forest lies on top of an escarpment and well off the beaten track
and is accessible only with a 4X4 and a good measure of initiative.
The prospect of the occurence of rare butterflies is very good. We are
going to mount an expedition over the Easter weekend. We have prepared a
lot of banana bait. We are expecting to find species in the forest
that normally occur further North in Mozambique. Maybe there are as yet
undiscovered species in there.
We will post a list of what we find in this web site next week.
We are also going to pay attention to the botany and the avian fauna.
- E'tienne Easley, Nashville, TN, USA
- I wasn't interested in butterflies at all until my
spring break a couple of weeks ago. It is a long ride
from Nashville to Miami, so you could imagine how I
would daze out of the window day in and out. It wasn't
until then that I realized how beautiful these insects
were. A couple of friends and I collaborated at the
beach one Sunday evening to discuss what had been on
our minds. We were all so stressed out from midterms.
I was feeling so depressed at the beach because, my
friends and I really haven't said so much as ""Hi"" to each
other in 2 years, but they were going through a lot
and I made myself available to them. We talked and talked
and as my friend tried to explain to me how I affected her life
a butterfly landed on my shoulder. She said ""You know,
you are like a butterfly, light and delicate. You have
popped in my life and made it beautiful, you are free
and so full of life ...I was overjoyed at the thought
that I could brighten someone else's life like so
many people have brightened mine.
- Erin Nicholson, Pitt Meadows, BC, CANADA
- On March 23, 1999 Christa Marie McCarron passed away at the age of 19.
She will be remembered for her beautiful spirit, her smiles and her laughter.
Christa loved butterflies - her bedroom was a virtual monument to them.
Shortly after her death, Christa's friends gathered to mourn our loss. Toward
the end of the evening I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Although
the weather was still very cold, there was a butterfly circling over us.
I saw it land on a bookshelf, and when I walked over and put my hand out it
stepped onto my fingers. I carried it over to Christa's closest friends and
the sight of it brought tears of happiness to everyone's eyes.
I realize that this story seems contrived, and that it couldn't possibly be
real. But I swear that it's true. Perhaps I'm searching for comfort in
something that wasn't really there, but I honestly believe that Christa
was with us that night, and that that was her way of letting us know she
was alright. Whenever I see a butterfly I'll think of Christa.
- Lauren, Waldorf, MD, USA
- In August of 1993 my two year old cousin was killed by a drunk driver
that hit the van she was in on her side. She was thrown out of the van with
her car seat on and had a broken neck. She was a wonderful little girl. The
day of her funeral she had hundereds of flowers because she touched so many
hearts. My cousin and I were standing by the casket when the the priest was
talking and we looked over and saw three beautiful butterflies on her casket.
Ever since then, when ever we see a butterfly my family and I always think of
her. She truely touched our lives.
- Scottsboro, AL, USA
- My son, Andy, died in 1991. On a visit to
Gulf Shores Al one year later on his anniversary, there was
one lone Monarch flitting outside of our room and the
restaurant where we all ate Thanksgiving Dinner. I knew
Andy was with us in spirit that day and from then on. HE
is a butterfly to me.
- Tracy Freeman, Dallas, GA, USA
- Butterflies have always fascinated me as a child growing
up, mainly because I could never seem to catch one
of these beautiful creatures. A moth maybe but no butterfly. I am now a
grown woman, a wife, and a mother of two
wonderful daughters. My fascination with butterflies only intensifies as
time goes by for myself as well as my girls.
I had a very strong and close relationship with my grand-
mother. We laughed a lot, we talked a lot and we shared
a lot of wonderful memories together. We talked about everything.
I needed to talk to her one day about something that a lot of people don't
like to discuss and
that is death. It was a long conversation and a bit
in depth. We decided that whichever one of us leaves this earth first,
that we would try to somehow let the other
know that we're fine and that we're still close by. So, we
decided to send butterflies. We never
really discussed how we would send them, but just
that we would send them and a white dove. Sadly
my grandmother passed suddenly 7 months later. My world seemed shaken
for a long time and I felt like I had
lost a part of my soul. But time heals all wounds. It was
a little over a year from her passing that my daughters and I were outside.
My girls were in the pool and I happened to be sitting in a
chair reading a book called
""We Don't Die"" when this beautiful butterfly lit right on my hand while I
was holding the book. It flew off after a
few seconds, and I held my finger out mid-air and it lit on my finger.
It circled me three more times and lit on my
shoulder last. Before flying off completely my oldest
daughter held out her finger and it lit on her finger also.
I was so stunned as well as my daughters because they were the
only other people I had told about this secret I
shared with my Grandmother. I ran down to my husband's
shop and was so excited. I began telling him of this butterfly,
when he stopped me mid sentence and told me that this White Dove had been
sitting on a big canister
he had outside of his shop, just looking at him as he was
working on the car. He said it had just flown off behind
the back yard and we might be able to see it. Sure enough there it was.
It was pure white, with a little red
tag attached to its leg. It stayed a while longer and then flew off.
This was the most wonderful day that I could ever have imagined.
I never in all my years caught a butterfly, but on this day I had
one to catch me and a
white dove to confirm that this was my grandmother
saying I am o.k. and I am close. Now what's the chances of that
happening in a million years? None, except through God!
I would also
like to note that my youngest daughter was very upset that the butterfly
didn't lite on her, but the next day at the last cleaning out of
my grandmother's home before it was to be torn down, my daughter just happened
to find my grandmother's old yellow butterfly magnet that she had on her
refrigerator ever since I could remember. My daughter looked at me as
she held it in her hand and said, ""Look Mom, Grandma didn't forget about
me after all."" Isn't Life Wonderful?!!!
- Atlanta, GA, USA
Butterflies gave me something to love. They set an example for me.
They taught me that I can fly free into the air. They are a perfect
example for all people and I love them. They let me realize that I
have my own life and I can use it.
- Lexington, SC, USA
- On Oct 29,1993 I was involuntarily committed before I hurt
myself or someone else. I had lost everything to alcohol.
My home, my husband, my kids and even my faith in God.
I reached a point where I drank every day, sometimes 24
hours a day. I felt hopeless and helpless and just didn't
want to live anymore. I felt I had nothing or nobody and
felt totally worthless. As part of my rehab treatment I
was given a short story to read called ""The Brown Bottle""
and it was about a caterpillar that crawled into a bottle
and was not able to crawl out to become a butterfly and died
in that bottle. At one of our groups they went around and
asked if you could be any kind of animal or something,
what would you be and why. When I was next I said I wanted
to be a caterpillar, when they asked why I said cause when I
I got out of there I wanted to be a butterfly. After 30
days I left there to try to begin my new life without drinking.
It was not easy and I struggled a lot to stay sober.
Five years later
I am still sober and feel that just like the caterpillar
and the butterfly, I changed from crawling to flying.
Today I am free from that bottle and have a whole new
life. Everytime I see a butterfly it reminds me of those
days spent in rehab and how today I have a new life and
am free. Free of alcohol and I didn't have to die in that bottle.
- Donna LaFleur, Baton Rouge, LA, USA
- I have been fascinated by butterflies for several years now, my
childhood interest having been renewed by a friend. And in my work
as a television producer, I had even written and produced a program
for television on the subject. Many stories of the symbolism of the
butterfly had been presented to me, but this summer, I experienced
their magic for myself. My father died after a long illness, and each
of my siblings placed a rose in his casket before it was closed. I had
a beautifully preserved specimen of a Giant Swallowtail at the time, and
I decided to place this symbol of rebirth and transformation in the
casket as well.
A week later, all of my extended family gathered at my father's home
for the 4th of July. As we grilled and prepared a meal for the family,
a beautiful Giant Swallowtail came to visit the garden, and lingered for a
while. I called to my sisters to come see, that ""Dad"" was visiting us.
Sure, it could just be coincidence, that the first butterfly
I saw after my father's death happened to be a Giant Swallowtail. But
I've always had faith in serendipity, and for me, watching that
butterfly in my dad's garden was a sweet and uplifting moment
that I will remember happily.
- Carol Crowell, Hanover, PA, USA
- The morning my mother passed away the sun was rising and the
birds were singing. Two weeks after her passing I found a newspaper
article about a new born baby born in California that needed open heart
surgery to survive. Suprisingly enough his heart healed itself and
surgery was not needed. The comforting thought was he was born the
day my mother passed away. We know she gave her life so this baby
could have a chance at life.
Over the years, I have dealt with many
emotional ups and downs. Two years ago I heard Rick Mikula speak at
the local park. You see on my lowest days I would walk along the
water looking for answers. In the same park, we went nature walking
one Sunday with Rick on a butterfly watch. Since then I have had much
solitude spending time with nature. The birds and butterflies have been
my inspiration. Occasionally a butterfly or hummingbird comes and persists.
I know it is my mother and God reminding me that life is precious and
special. As my husband recently lost his job of 10 years we have decided
to farm butterflies. We feel this is God's way of allowing us to share
nature with children and the elderly. God does work in mysterious ways.
- Sunny, Lancaster, CA, USA
Butterflies have a very special meaning in our family. My mother
loved them so much that when she was in the hospital she told us that
when she passed away she would turn into a butterfly and visit each of us
her 3 daughters. Well mom passed away 2 years ago, and each of us have been
visited by butterflies. And it's funny every time someone sees one they always
say with a big smile on their face 'look there's mimi(my mom)'. She also told
us when we were young that my grandma was a butterfly too. I see them
everywhere and always think of mom.
- Portland, OR, USA
Once I saw a butterfly. I thought it was so pretty. Then it started
to twitter around on the ground. I thought it was going to die, so I
helped it lessen the pain. I stepped on it. While I was sleeping I
felt a tickling feeling on my face. I woke up to find a dead butterfly
lying by my bed. I think it wanted to thank me for putting it out of
- Jane Schweitzer, Richland Center, WI, USA
- My husband passed away in the month of August, 1996. His life
involved conservation and the many beautiful things of nature. He was
buried in a little country cemetary surrounded by farm fields and
wildflowers. As our minister was saying the final prayer, a butterfly
circled above the casket and landed. When the minister said the
last ""Amen"", the butterfly flew up and over a cornfield. My six
children were by my side and each one saw and remarked, Dad is here
with us. Each time I see a butterfly,I say a prayer and hello to my husband
- GA, USA
- ""A True Story of Courage and Love"".............
Walking down a path through some woods in Georgia in 1977, I saw a water
puddle ahead on the path. I angled my direction to go around it on the
part of the path that wasn't covered by water and mud. As I reached the
puddle, I was suddenly attacked!
Yet I did nothing for the attack was so unpredictable and from a source so
totally unexpected. I was startled as well as unhurt, despite having been
struck four or five times already. I backed up a foot and my attacker
stopped attacking me.
Instead of attacking more, he hovered in the air on graceful butterfly wings
in front of me. Had I been hurt I wouldn't have found it amusing, but I
was unhurt, it was funny, and I was laughing. After all, I was being attacked
by a butterfly!
Having stopped laughing, I took a step forward. My attacker rushed me again.
He rammed me in the chest with his head and body, striking me over and over
again with all his might, still to no avail.
For a second time, I retreated a step while my attacker relented in his
attack. Yet again, I tried moving forward. My attacker charged me again. I
was rammed in the chest over and over again. I wasn't sure what to do, other
than to retreat a third time. After all, it's just not everyday that one is
attacked by a butterfly.
This time, though, I stepped back several paces to look the situation over.
My attacker moved back as well, to land on the ground. That's when I discovered
why my attacker was charging me only moments earlier.
He had a mate and she was dying. She was beside the puddle where he landed.
Sitting close beside her, he opened and closed his wings as if to fan her. I
could only admire the love and courage of that butterfly in his concern for
his mate. He had taken it upon himself to attack me for his mate's sake, even
though she was clearly dying and I was so large. He did so just to give her
those extra few precious moments of life, should I have been careless enough
to step on her. Now I knew why and what he was fighting for.
There was really only one option left for me. I carefully made my way
around the puddle to the other side of the path, though it was only inches
wide and extremely muddy. His courage in attacking something thousands of
times larger and heavier than himself just for his mate's safety justified it.
I couldn't do anything other than reward him by walking on the more difficult
side of the puddle. He had truly earned those moments to be with her,
undisturbed. I left them in peace for those last few moments,
cleaning the mud from my boots when I later reached my car.
Since then, I've always tried to remember the courage of that butterfly
whenever I see huge obstacles facing me. I use that butterfly's courage
as an inspiration and to remind myself that good things are worth fighting for.
- Barbara, Syracuse, NY, USA
- Since my father's death in 1979, butterflies have
become a very important symbol to me and also to my sister.
We believe that our deceased loved ones are
able to send us messages of love and concern using
these delicate creatures which stand for metamorphosis.
Dad was buried on a lovely June day. After the services,
Mom, I, Sis, grandchildren, and family members and friends
stood nearby Dad's grave which was covered with flowers.
We all were busy in conversation about Dad/Jim. Suddenly
a huge butterfly, as large as the palm of my hand, flitted
around us. The colors were black, blue & white. It landed
on the flowers & seemed to be listening. I noticed that
its colors seem to match what Dad was wearing...a
charcoal gray suit, white shirt & a medium blue tie
which exactly matched the blue on the butterfly. We
stood there in amazement over this friendly, curious butterfly.
How were we, then, to know that butterflies were to become
so prominent in our lives from that day on?
All that summer our back yard was visited by an abundance
of butterflies, mostly monarchs, with one landing on
Mom's finger much to her delight! She (and Sis & I) were sure these
butterflies were Dad's way of communicating his concern for us
and his love.
He passed on before he & Mom could enjoy their 50th anniversary together. On that day
we visited his grave - also visiting was a big monarch
who hovered nearby us .... of course it was ""Dad."" When
I was out shopping for a 50th anniversary gift I found myself
heading for a San Francisco Music Box store in a local
mall. The most perfect gift was awaiting me...a water globe
with a branch of flowers and a large black, blue, & white
butterfly resting on them. The music it played was
the theme from the film, ""Somewhere in Time.""
After a few years, Mom needed surgery for a large,
cancerous tumor in her abdomen and Kathy (Sis) and
I waited, very afraid & nervous, in her room until
the surgery was completed. The room had large windows
which overlooked a parking lot and it was up fairly
high - 8 floors up. I blinked with surprise and told
Kathy to come and look out the window. There, right
in front of our faces in the window, was a small ""colony""
of monarch butterflies flitting around, right up there
in mid-air outside of an 8th floor window. Dad had
sent the troops! His support for us and concern
for Mom came right through from the beyond. We watched
in awe and gratitude and were comforted by this merry
band of monarchs for about 20 minutes!
While Mom was battling ovarian cancer, in her last days
we talked openly about ""signs from the other side""...
she said she would also send butterflies to us. She
was very calm about facing her death, - a truly remarkable
For weeks I watched for these butterflies but it was in the early part
of April; the weather just seemed to cold for
these delicate creatures. I'd let the idea go until
Memorial Day when I brought her swan planter
to her grave. Filled with her favorite flowers,
impatiens and lobelia, I wondered if these flowers
would attract butterflies. I talked and pleaded into mid-air hoping
that Mom would somehow hear me - ""please send me a
butterfly so I know you're here!"" Good thing I
was the only one around as I'm sure others hearing me
and watching me look above would certainly think I
was a crazy person. As I slowly walked
to back to my car and got in, I took a last glance
at the very pretty swan bouquet. Lo and behold...
I noticed a yellow (Mom's favorite color) swallowtail
landing on it and seemingly liking it. In my surprise, I could only
holler out, ""Thanks, Mom! You made my day!
I realize I have been a lengthy in telling my story
but needed to tie it all in. Thanks for reading
and may you be granted many, many ""butterfly kisses""
- Katrin Weber, Orr's Island, ME, USA
- My sister, Nina, died in 1981 of a brain tumor. She was 12 years old.
My mother spent a lot of time with her while she was going through radiation
and doctor's visits. My sister told my mother not to worry about her after
she died, she would be well taken care of when she went to heaven. A little
boy in a blue suit was going to be there to help her find her way. She also
told my mother that she would always be close to us in whatever we did, our
family would just have to look for a butterfly because that would be her.
Eighteen years later I still stop to look at every butterfly that comes my
way and I always tell it hello and how much I love her. I plant more and
more flowers in my garden every year just so I can talk to a butterfly every day.
Nina Lee Hutchins died on the first day of spring in 1981 and she will
always be missed.
- Gerry Price, Franklin, MA, USA
- About mid way through my college years --- longer ago than I'll admit here ---
I found myself in one of those periods of lost direction. I was unsure of my
path and was beginning to feel as though life made no sense.
It was in very late May on an exquisite almost-summer day in Amherst, MA. Some
college friends and I had been painting an elderly couple's home to make ends meet.
At that time, the Cold War was still in full swing. Amherst was in the flight path
of the SAC bomber base in Chicopee. I was lying on the lawn feeling the warm sun
when I heard the distant whine of a B-52 approaching to land. I lay there as the
enormous bomber slipped overhead --- my view couldn't have been better.
I remember being awed by the enormity, the complexity and even the grace of that
plane as it passed above me. The power of its engines, even in their near-idle
state, was humbling. As it disappeared to the south and quiet returned I continued
my revelry looking up into the blue sky.
Silently, a butterfly appeared directly over my head, hovering or at least bobbing
back and forth in my field of view. It was a beautiful Tiger Swallowtail. I was
quite amused that it would appear so close to my face and seemed to work at staying
right above me. I studied it --- the structure and coloring of its wings, the
intricacies of its body. It then became embarrassingly obvious. This creature was
the true marvel. Not the huge, loping war machine but this simple living work of
art. I smiled. The early summer warmth spread inside again.
- John Roskelley, Spokane, WA, USA
- Around the first of August, 1978, Rick Ridgeway and I were fixing
ropes at 24,000 feet along the Northeast Ridge of K2 in our effort to
help our team make the first American ascent. The knife-bladed ridge divided
Communist Tibet from Pakistan, from where we had approached the peak.
It was a windless and clear day, with a temperature of around 10 degrees.
Rick, sitting on an ice shelf, belayed me as I moved carefully sideways on the
60 degree slope. Quite unexpectedly, I noticed a Monarch butterfly fly past
my head. It was the last thing at this altitude and temperature I
expected to see. Suddenly, there was another, then another, until
finally, there were hundreds, perhaps thousands coming out of Tibet,
rising on the thermals and trying to cross over the immense ridge into
Pakistan to the south. It was a full-blown migration over the second
highest mountain on earth. Butterflies continued to cross the ridge throughout
the day, but in fewer numbers. In camp that night, there were Monarchs in our
tent, cook water, sleeping bags and just about any other place. Many of them
had perished on the icy slopes of K2 that day, but many more made it into the
warm valleys of Pakistan and eventually into Kashmir and India. Unlike our
species, they crossed these borders without regard to race or religion, a
feat not easy in this world of ours today.
- Shirley, MO, USA
- About 15 years ago, I was leaving work and as I approached
the road, I saw a butterfly on the side of the road and it looked to be
stunned or injured. I stopped, picked it up, and put it on the
grass near the road, not knowing what else to do. I went about my business,
then a few weeks later I was at work outdoors
and to my lovely surprise a butterfly fluttered about my head for a few
seconds, and then this beautiful creature landed on my smock lapel and twittered
about for a few seconds as if to thank me. It then flew away and ever since I
have been hooked on these delicate winged creatures and to think God gave ME
this honor, to have this butterfly visit me was breath-taking and
- Stephanie D, LA, USA
- On August 15, 1997, I felt that my world had come to an end. My nineteen
year old son had been murdered in a carjacking and robbery. I was devastated.
From that day on I knew that my life would never be the same.
My son was my love and my light. He was always so happy and so loving. Damian
would light up a room just by walking through the door. He had a kind heart and
wonderful spirit, he was loving and giving, a gentle giant. Damian loved
children, and children loved him. He loved life and everything in it. His love
for God and his faith were strong. God, how could this be happening? How could
the first most wonderful thing that happened in my life be taken from me?
The next few days were nothing but a blur; funeral arrangements, family and
friends, shock from what I had just been told about my son. I was numb. My
worst nightmare had come true. What was I going to do?
A couple of days after the funeral, in my desperation, I went to the cemetery
to visit my son’s grave. I was alone at last. Alone to let out all of my tears,
alone to scream at the top of my lungs, where no one else could hear me. I knelt
on the dirt, and directly in front of me was a single rose that someone had
placed into a clump of dirt. As I was screaming and crying, I asked, “Damian,
what will I do? How can I go on without you?”
At that exact moment a beautiful butterfly landed on the rose, directly in
front of me, despite my delirium. I stopped crying immediately. The butterfly
slowly fluttered its wings while facing me. I stared in amazement. Several
moments passed, and I slowly reached out to touch the butterfly. Just as my
finger was about to touch it, the butterfly fluttered up and above my head. I
was stunned. My first thought was to say “Alright Damian, I get the message.
You are okay in your new life.” A sense of relief and peace swept over me. I
knew this was a message sent from Heaven to ease my pain and loss. For the next
several days, everytime I went to visit the grave, the butterfly would be there,
happily flying about.
About a week later, still numb with grief, I sat on the floor sorting boxes of
pictures, looking for those loving reminders of my dear child. While sitting
there, weeping, I noticed an envelope addressed to me, written in my dear child’s
handwriting from many years before. The postmark on the envelope was
May 10, 1985, when my son was seven years old, at which time he was in the
first grade. As I opened the letter and began to read, tears poured from my
eyes, and I could not contain myself. Evidently a school project, my son wrote
to tell me how much he loved me, in the only way a seven year old can. The
I love you very much. You always help me. Thank you for being so sweet. I
love your cooking. It is so nice to have you wake me up. homework wold be
terrible without you. you are the best mom and have the bigest heart. I love you.
I then noticed a crude drawing at the bottom of the letter. In blue crayon
he had colored the bottom half of the page, except for one place in the shape
of a butterfly. In the center of the butterfly he had written these words:
go to my mother.
whisper that I love her.
From that moment on, I have never doubted that the butterfly that came to
me at the cemetery was a message from my son. About a week later, I met with
Damian’s first grade teacher. Fighting back tears unsuccessfully, I told her
the story of the butterfly. I told her that I understand her job is very hard,
and a lot of times thankless. I know most teachers are not given the
appreciation that they truly deserve. Teachers touch the lives of so
many children, in ways that they may never know. The simple little project
she had done with a first grade class so many years ago had impacted my life
forever. Together we hugged and wept.
Thank you, Mrs. Ann Hardy! I will remember you with love forever, and you
will always remain special in my heart. And everytime I see a butterfly, I
smile and think about Damian, and it brightens my day.
- Berkeley, CA, USA
- My daughter was dating a boy named George and on Sunday morning I got a
call that his father had died. That afternoon, as I was strolling in my garden,
I came across a Monarch. It was late in the season for a Monarch. They should
have all migrated by now. It must be one of the last Monarchs. I thought
about doing a butterfly release for the funeral. In the past I had raised
Monarchs for other people who released them at funerals. The butterfly is a
symbol of the soul passing on.
The funeral was on Wednesday and I thought this could be the last Monarch I
would see, but I didn’t want to catch it and keep it imprisoned in a box for
three whole days. So I took a chance and let that one go, determined I would
find another butterfly on Tuesday. Now on Tuesday I went out looking for any
kind of butterfly. The whole day was gone and no butterfly. The sun was getting
low in the sky. My wife drove home then and both of us looked around for the
last time. We realized that nothing was going to happen. You don’t find
butterflies at night. I followed my wife toward the house. She went in.
I stopped and closed my eyes and the thought was something like,
'Please God I need a butterfly by tomorrow.' Right after that I knew I’d be
out in the morning and it would show up. It might be magic, but it would be
back. Then I dismissed the thought and feelings going through my head and
after five seconds of that I went in the house.
My wife was on the phone with a woman who was telling her that she had just
found a Monarch Butterfly at her doorstep. Earlier in the day she’d found the
Monarch and was concerned because it was so late in the season and was calling
people to find out how to care for a Monarch butterfly. She had called me to
come pick it up and take care of it for her.
My wife, having been skeptical about all this butterfly magic, was amazed.
She had now become a part of this process! I threw on a Monarch T-shirt and
went to pick up my Monarch. When I arrived the first thing she said was 'I
have the same T-shirt!' She also had a butterfly cage in her house and had
taken care of them two years ago. I gave her a copy of a book I brought
with me, I, Monty by Marcus Bach, because of our similar experiences.
The magic of sychronisity was back and, of course, it was all about
butterflies. The butterfly had landed in her yard, the yard of a butterfly
lover. She had thought to call me and it was on that very evening when
I was especially looking for a butterfly! The magic was back.
I took the butterfly home, made it a sugar/water solution and hand fed it.
It became active after eating and flew around the house. I put it to sleep
for the night in a dark cage of its liking. The next day at the funeral
I released the Monarch while reciting a prayer from Marianne Williamson’s
book Illuminata about spirit flying free. The butterfly took off straight
up in the air and disappeared in a flash. People came up to me later and
said it was the most beautiful service ever. People felt that the soul had
left on the wings of that butterfly.
George said that he needed to be alone for an hour at the gravesite.
As I was walking to the car I kept looking back wishing that butterfly
would appear again. We left and it didn’t appear. I thought, 'Oh, well,
nice thought. I can’t have everything I wish for.' On the way home I told my
wife that something’s going to happen. I’m thinking that the night after
I lost my aunt I felt my aunt walking down the hall and that something like
that was going to happen.
Here’s what happened. George called us when he got home. On his way
home from the cemetery he stopped at a light and a Monarch landed next
to his car. This was an area under construction, not a place where you’d
normally see a butterfly. When the light turned green, the butterfly flew
right along with his car and kept pace with him. As the butterfly followed
him, he broke into tears, beautiful bittersweet tears. When he got home he
opened his door. He saw his father sitting there. I had only felt my aunt’s
presence the day after her funeral, George said he actually saw his father.
Whether you believe George saw his father or not, is not important. What is
important is that butterfly meant something to George that absolutely heeled
his pain. George knew then that his father was with him and always would be.
- Galveston, IN, USA
- I began teaching a self-contained moderatedly mentally handicapped middle
school last year. Early in the year I found a monarch caterpillar on my classroom
door. (The science teacher across the hall had a caterpillar hotel in her room.
This one had escaped.)
I thought that it would be an interesting experience for my students to
watch the caterpillar, so I found a jar and some milkweed leaves.
The students were fascinated! They named the caterpillar "Garth".
We watched Garth everyday, kept a chart of his size, made predictions
about when the coccoon would open, and drew pictures of the whole process.
The day Garth came out of the cocoon was such an experience for the whole class,
myself included. Students at this cognitive level don't often relate to the
world around them, but this experience related to them and they still talk
about seeing Garth.
One of the students even made up her own play about garth!
This year we are getting ready to start a bired and butterfly garden at our school.
Hopefully garth will visit!
- Charleston, SC, USA
- In the summer of 1996 I was sitting with a special
friend of mine at a Christian camp in North Carolina.
We were enjoying the view of the camp lake when a
monarch landed on my hand. He said one of the sweetest
things I have ever heard "You do know that if a
butterfly lands on you when you are with someone
that means that you were meant to be together." Maybe
this is a corny pick-up line but it sure got me because
I love butterflies and I also love him!
- Emma, Canberra, NSW, AUSTRALIA
Every day my life is touched by butterflies, they flutter by my windows,
they fly by my side and remind me of the beauty that life offers.
Every day I encounter giant cream and black, azure blue, vermilion and
brown wonders of nature. The strange and inspiring intrigue that I have
with butterflies is that while they fly by my home in Canberra everyday,
the same species of giant wonders seem to follow me to my boyfriend's
home in Sydney. He and I share a truly profound cosmic bond, and when we
first met giant butterflies of azure blue and black followed us
(even in the heart of Sydney's smokey Central) from Sydney to Canberra,
and the same species that now surround us. When I see these creatures I
am reminded of the love I share with my man and the nature of life's
- Lubna, BAHRAIN
- Reading some of the stories, I don't think mine is very inspirational.
But anyway .. since being 13 I've loved angels, them being so innocent and all.
But on my 15th birthday, a friend of mine gave me a butterfly toy saying that i was
his butterfly and just as
innocent as one. From that day on I've been totally obsessed with butterflies
and just die over them. I've never realized how beautiful they are.
My favourite is the common blue butterfly.
It's only been 4 months since my 15th birthday, but now I see butterflies
wherever I am. Coincidental? I don't know!
I just think that butterflies are the angels of this world ..
just as beautiful ... just as innocent .... just as majestic!
- In October of 1997, my daughter Emma was diagnosed with a childhood cancer
called Neuroblatoma. She had just had her first birthday the month before. Emma
went through many rounds of harsh chemotherapy, many minor surgeries as well as
two spinal surgeries. We nearly lost her a few times due to infection and
After several months of therapy it was clear nothing was shrinking her very
substantial tumor. It seemed as though it as becoming less cancerous, but any
treatments available weren't able to help us. We stopped treatment.
After a few weeks of being fed by a tube and rest from chemo, I sat outside
on our lanai behind our home on Oahu, Hawaii. I was pushing Emma in her
little dolphin swing. About five butterflies come over to see Emma. I felt as
though they they had missed my baby girl. They made me feel as though
everything was going to be okay, like I hadn't felt in nearly a year.
Emma giggled as they floated along on the warm, soft trade winds.
We lived on a military base, and our homes were all very close together.
As strange as this may seem, the butterflies were always in our yard, and
we haven't had to go back to the hospital very much since.
We now live in San Diego, and we are getting ready to plant a very
butterfly friendly yard here. My daughter Emma is still not getting
cancer treatment, but is healthier than she has ever been.
- Lauren J., Madison, MS, USA
- Last January I got really sick. I had the flu, bordering on pneumonia. I
felt horrible and lay in bed for a few days and slept. I finally got well
enough to get up and move around so I went to my glass doors and looked outside.
It was freezing cold, and I saw a beautiful butterfly lying on the ground.
Very carefully, I picked the poor thing up. It fluttered a little bit but was
on the brink of death. I brought it inside my warm house and put it in the
bathroom and turned on the heater. I put a hummingbird feeder in with it and
some fresh water and left it alone. I checked back on it about an hour later and
it seemed to be doing a lot better. It didn't just lie on the ground like it once
had. It fluttered a lot more and seemed to be doing ok. I ran into an old
closet and pulled out an old butterfly cage that I had raised butterflies in once.
I kept it there until the next warm day. I took the cage outdoors and opened the
door. The butterfly hesitated for a moment, and then took off. I watched it until
I couldn't see it anymore. It was gone and I went back inside. Since then I
have been a butterfly fanatic. I love them. They are everywhere in my room.
Thanks to one little one, I have an appreciation for all creatures, great and
- Hilda Travis, Reston, VA, USA
- On a beautiful Summers day we had gone back to the Country to bury my
Son-in-law. As the pallbearers were taking the casket from the hearse a beautiful
yellow butterfly hovered over the flowers atop the casket. I saw it and I
wondered if any one else did. Finally I mentioned it to my Daughter and Grandson,
and they said that they saw it too. It disappeared as suddenly as it came.
A few days later as I was on the balcony back home I was amazed to see a yellow
butterfly just darting back and forth. Later that week as I was working in the
garden where I live, I again saw
a lovely yellow butterfly, only one. By then I knew that Butterfly must have been
a symbol of love and peace, and that my Son-in-law was telling me all was well.
- Richard Heymann, Charleston, SC, USA
- My mother loved butterflies and used them as a decorating motif. Surrounded
by them as were were growing up, my sister and I came to appreciate their
beauty and love them, too.
Mother died at age 54 in February, 1977. Her wishes were to be cremated.
When the weather turned warmer, my father, sister and I got in a motor boat
with the Rector of our church and proceeded to a wildlife refuge not far from
where the Maumee River (runs through Toledo, Ohio) meets Lake Erie.
The ashes of a number of parishioners were distributed in the water by the
Rector. Then it was my mother's 'turn'. With a mixture of solemnity and
peace--knowing we were following her explicit wishes--we committed her remains
to the Refuge.
Just as we finished and an emotion-filled silence filled the boat as we stood
there gazing at the water and her ashes dispersing, a butterfly fluttered
throughout our midst--not just passing by but staying within the portion of
the stern of the boat where we stood.
That was no coincidence and I was both heartened by that 'sign' and deeply
moved by it. Obviously, none of us there will forget that moment and now
seeing butterflies in any form brings me the joy of the remembrance of how
much she enjoyed them...and we her.
- Deborah Clark, Oklahoma City, OK, USA
- I was 19 years old ,too young to have a baby, I had twins. On the day
my parents and I brought them home I was sitting outside getting and little
"fresh air" and I prayed to God to help me love, respect and most of all
protect my two beautiful healthy babies and just at that moment a white
butterfly landed on my shoulder. My girls are 4 years old now and are very smart,
well mannered, healthy and are very loved. My collection of butterflies has
its own bedroom!!! I love my identical butterflies!!!
- Becky Baes, Lockport, NY, USA
- In May of 1998 I lost my husband of 9 years. I was so devastated by this
loss as is anyone who loses a loved one. I have always loved butterflies and
their freedom and my husband knew this. About 2 weeks after he died I was
mowing the yard with my garden tractor. I cried so much while doing this. Out
of nowhere came a butterfly that started to follow me all throughout the yard.
It just wouldn't leave me alone! I finally stopped and turned off the tractor
and that butterfly proceeded to start flitting all over my face as if to give me
kisses. I do believe that was my honey coming to tell me he was ok and as free
and beautiful as all the butterflies I have loved. That butterfly stayed with
me for about a month and then was gone but I will be looking for it again this
summer. Just before my husband died he helped me put up a butterfly house in
our garden--I hope he is home!
- Kimberly Weynberg, Clark, NJ, USA
- I have always liked butterflies but I didn't really appreciate them and love
them fully until I took a recent trip to Niagara Falls with the man I love.
We went to the Butterfly Conservatory in Canada. It was my favorite part of the
trip. We walked through this indoor garden and hundreds of butterflies were
fluttering about our heads. Jon and I took pictures of them and Jon out waited
one particularly shy butterfly that I had fallen in love with just so I would
have a picture of that one. It took him a half hour to get that picture.
It was such a great act of love from him especially because I didn't ask him
to do it he just knew how much it would mean to me. Since Jon and I live in
separate states we talk mostly on E-mail and since our trip one of our favorite
things to talk about and give pictures of is butterflies.
- JS, Sunnyvale, CA, USA
- I didn't plan on writing this Butterfly poem. In fact, I didn't follow any poetry rules - the words just came out from a painful experience, and yet it was one that has continually transformed me. Last October, my boyfriend and I broke-up- it was rather strange, because the night before, I said farewell to him in my journal entry - my mind was ready to move on, and yet my heart didn't seem to want to let go. The following day, he expressed his loss of feeling towards me. The poem I have included with this letter was born out of that painful day. I am not sure how your readers will be impacted by this poem - but here it is. I wish blessings, peace, and joy to those reading it. -----------------------------------------------------
Beloved Butterfly - by J.S.
October 24, 1998 - Copyright 1998
The time has come for you
away to fly
You've touched my life
As God, our witness
As we breathed, the breath of love
Our wings enfold
in each other's sacred embraces
Love is, and is, and always is
as I have remembered;
true Love that is,
but not the fleeting kind
The later is sometimes
into an initiation of true Loving.
My Love for you perhaps
sprung as an initial fleeting
flurry of emotions
But how, I don't understand,
It has grown from the very start
through thick or thin
this Love has grown deeper within
As you fly away
I turn my face
not out of hate
For in true loving
there isn't a place for hate or fear.
As you fly away
tears flow with pain
As you fly away
tears flow with a blessing
that you'll land again
in someone else's arms
with a love even greater than mine
You'll mirror that love
for that someone
whom God is preparing for you;
Someone whose love and whose heart
is after God's very own
Farewell for now
For the pain is too intense
a sure pathway
for growth and strength
My future is a landscape
and this is how I see it
It's full of flowering plants
fragrant and vibrant
Butterflies are welcome
and in time
you may wish to come
and visit for awhile
by then, we're men
who have remembered more
who we really are
in God's eyes
By then, we'll share
that may last a lifetime.
- Jill Abtey, Salisbury, MO, USA
- I don't know if this story is an inspirational story, but it is a butterfly
experience that touched me in a way that I will never forget, and can live the
moment over and over in my mind. It was the awe of nature that forever left an
imprint in my mind......
I was about 8 years old and it was a cool fall day. I lived in a small suburb in
Western New York at the time. My mother had sent me outside for the afternoon,
much to my disagreement! While standing in the front yard, a large cloud had
dimmed the sun. I still don't know if it was reflex, or curiosity that made me
glance to the sky at that moment, as I had seen many clouds block the sun, but
at that moment it struck me that it was not a cloud that had blocked the sun that
day, but a mass of Monarch butterflies! They were beautiful and graceful. Only
a moment had passed, and they were gone from my view, but etched forever in my
I now have children of my own, and still look to the skies every time a cloud
covers the sun....
- Alison, Reno, NV, USA
- My mother just recently died & as I was on the phone to my dad crying he
tried his hardest to calm me down by saying "Do you think that a caterpillar
knows it becomes a butterfly, and do you think all the caterpillars cry when one
of them leaves? No, because they leave to become a beautiful, free soaring
butterfly and that's just what our lives are like. We leave this material body
to be something just as beautiful and like the caterpillars we don't know what
we become." Now I'm interested in learning about butterflies.
- Brad Carlson, Minden, IA, USA
- I have been an avid lepidopterist since I was 2 years
old...for essentially my entire life. I will never forget
how I got to know butterflies. My father took me out into
our backyard in suburban San Antonio, just so that I could
explore the world of nature and have some sort of appreciation
and curiosity about it. I will never forget how the butterflies
amazed me at such an impressionistic age. Peaceful and fragile
hairstreaks, darting skippers, gliding Monarchs and swallowtails,
silver-spotted Gulf Fritillaries...even the occasional Malachite
all went out of their way to dazzle me with their variety of
colors and behaviors. The rich fauna of southern Texas made it
all the more special because I was able to see something new
everyday. I always tell my father what a great gift he gave me...
how it has changed my life and shaped and molded it into who and what
I am today. He still is so modest about it...as if it was nothing.
He will never know that the reason I am now an entomology major
is because of that first walk in my backyard, and how close I feel
to the butterflies and nature in general because of that door he opened,
however inadvertent it may have been. I have had many intimate moments
with nature's finest ever since, and I will never, ever have it any other way.
- Hazelfaery, Naples, FL, USA
- Butterflies are a total inspiration. As I became more confident in my life,
about my music, images of the butterfly seemed to dance before my eyes making
themselves one with the sounds I was channeling. Making music is a very spiritual
experience and the butterflies have definatly made an impression on me in that
way. My musical group's name is 'Butterfly Messiah'. The ethereal qualities of a
swirling butterfly's wings can be likened to the way we sound.
In our tiny backyard, I decided to let them know how much I
appreciate them and I planted some butterfly vines and flowers.
Now I enjoy their company every morning over tea!
- Attica, IN, USA
- When I was a young boy about 40 years ago, while out hunting
West of Boswell In. along a row of hedge trees
I found myself in the middle of the Monarch butterflies
migration. There were thousands of them going South. I
wonder how many others can say this. It has always stayed
in my mind. IT WAS A BEAUTYFUL SIGHT I WILL NEVER FORGET.
- Daina Lynn Forsberg, Sea Cliff, Long Island, NY, USA
- Ever since I was been a little girl I've always felt close to butterflies.
And when they became a fashion trend I felt that they might fall into the wrong
hands. I saw that people only cared because they had pretty wings and looked
good on a t-shirt, or as a hair barett. Without realizing what amazing creatures
they really are, society seems to be over-using them and pushing them as a
very popular marketing approach. Personally I find this situaton quite strange.
Yes they are a symbol of freedom, beauty and peace and many people would like
to "capture" that for themselves. I just can hope that when we wear our
butterfly gear that we understand they are a living insect, a lovely reminder
what our sweet mother earth has put here not just for humans to see, but for
the essential balance of this ever changing planet. I have so much respect
for the creator of this web page and the lover of the butterflies.
- Shirley Saum, Canby, MN, USA
- August of 1993 was a very sad time for me. Our beloved grand-son had
drowned in a swimming accident. Jesse and I were very close and he enjoyed
spending time with me and I with him. I will always miss him, but when I see
butterflies it brings me a certain peace.
After I returned home from the funeral, I decided to make a butterfly garden in
Jesse's memory. I spent many hours planning, digging, and planting. It was
wonderful therapy for me and I felt a closeness to Jesse.
The next summer my little garden began to blossom. I had planted species that
I felt would attract butterflies and they did. The bee balm and butterfly weed
were magnets for butterflies. The zinnias and marigolds were also visited
frequently by butterflies.
Each year I extend my garden a little more, so now have holly-hocks, phlox,
pin-cushion flowers, asters, false sun-flowers and carnations. It is a
wonderful array of colors and a peaceful place for me to think about Jesse; each
time I see a butterfly flutter by, it fills me with pleasure. I know Jesse
would have enjoyed my garden and I have wonderful memories and a peaceful spot
in my yard. I have added an angel here and there and it has become my favorite
place to be.
- Traverse City, MI, USA
- As a child, I always thought that I had a special relationship with
butterflies. I would be outside in my yard and a family of Red Admiral
butterflies would appear and flutter all around me. I was fascinated by them at
first glance. I would chase them and try to catch them, but it always seemed
that they were playing games with me. They would let me get so close then
flutter just out of my reach. I would sit and watch them for hours,
playing with each other and fluttering beautifully all around.
Once they got to know me they would let me walk right up to them.
I would bend down slow with my finger and they would perch just like a pet bird.
I couldn't believe my own eyes. They would also follow me to my friends house,
landing on my head and arms all the way there. People that saw this could not
believe it. I made them my pets.
One afternoon while playing with them in my yard, I had the biggest Red
Admiral of the group alight right on the tip of my nose. There I was,
eye to eye with a butterfly. He stayed there for moments as I looked
down cross eyed at him. It was the most beautiful experience I'd ever had
at that point in my life with a butterfly. They returned every year of my child
hood, a new generation, but still as they knew me as the years before.
- Norma Kesner, Fort Ashby, WV, USA
- When I was in the 4th grade in Fairfield CA, while exploring in my
backyard I found the lovely green and gold cocoon of the monarch butterfly
attached to a small twig. I took my precious find into my bedroom and propped
it up in the corner of my window between the window and the screen where I kept
close daily watch over it hoping to have the chance to see it enter into the
world after its wondrous transformation from larvae to full blown butterfly.
Finally one day I found my beautiful new friend hanging onto the screen of my
window. I gave it the chance to dry its wings and then put him on my shoulder
and to my amazement he stayed there. I took him everywhere with me and he just
stayed on my shoulder as though he enjoyed the ride.
One day I decided to take my new-found friend to school with me, a mistake
that I will never forget, and always regret. When time for recess came I took my
little friend and put him in my desk and closed the lid thinking him safe while
my classmates and I went out for fun and games. When recess was over and we were
back in our seats I opened my desktop to release my friend from his prison to
resume his perch on my shoulder, but to my horror he wasn't there. I looked
everywhere for him but he was gone. I later found out one of my classmates
found my beautiful monarch on the windowsill and chloroformed him for our class
display of pinned insects on our display shelf. I cried myself to sleep that
night, and vowed never to capture another butterfly or any other of God's
creatures that he made to beautify our world. And to this day I think of my
butterfly whenever I see a butterfly flitting from flower to flower in search of
- Tami Drinkwater, Keysville, VA, USA
- My name is Tami Drinkwater and I own a florist called Lilacs and Lace
Florist. We opened about 8 years ago and I had my brother design our logo with a
yellow swallowtail butterfly. Butterflies have been a long time favorite of my
mother's and mine. As a child both of us would sit very still near the flowers
until a butterfly would land on us. May 28th 1998 my mother Roberta N. DeWeese
died of breast cancer. She fought a long hard battle in which her outlook was
amazing. I have never met anyone else on earth that was as wonderful or positive
as she. During the 4 years that she battled her cancer for the second time, we
collected more and more things with butterflies on them. Mom was an amateur
photographer in her spare time. Even when she was sick she still had a camera in
her hand. I have some of the most wonderful pictures of butterflies and flowers
that anyone could imagine. We displayed her photos at her funeral service and
during the graveside service we played the song ""Holes in the floor
of heaven"" and the grandchildren released 20 purple balloons and live
butterflies. That was unbelievable to see. With all my grief from losing my
wonderful mother and my best friend I was so happy to have been able to catch
all those butterflies on my farm. There wasn't a person at the service that had
dry eyes. They were so amazed that I have received quite a lot of cards or
letters stating just how special her funeral was. On most of the cards they said
that we had a celebration of her life out there, not a funeral service. We
depicted her life just as she lived with joy, faith and love. Her tombstone says
TAKE TIME at the bottom and has a beautiful butterfly etched in the stone. My
mother and my friend will always be remembered by many from the sight of a
- Brenda Plna, Elgin, TX, USA
- It was the fall of 1976, and I had returned home to Texas after a rather
nasty divorce. I worked at UT of Austin and met Diane Sanchez (Briones) who
worked at the Library also. We were friends, no we were more than that, we were
kindred spirits. She taught me about forgiveness, compassion and about true
unconditional love. After being friends for 16 years she got cancer. She never
had children because of Neurofibermatous (spe), but she was Godmother to my two,
she had nieces and nephews. She went through surgery (massive -- removal of
lung), Chemo and radiation. But, through this whole thing she never shook her
fist at God. She always said ""If I can bear this pain for the world
and it's forgiveness, then give me the strength."" Through her I also
learned about faith, not just the faith in me, but deepening my faith in a
loving GOD. She was truly an angel sent from GOD to bring numerous people joy,
love, and most of peace. GOD bless you Nan, I love you, and miss you terribly.
Thank you GOD for bringing such wonderful people into my life. Oh, did I
forget? WE BOTH LOVE BUTTERFLIES!
- Rhodora D. Diaz, Cebu City, PHILIPPINES
- In 1988, my father died on a Saturday morning, but I was unable to go home
until the next day. To add to my misery, I had to be sponsor at a wedding that
afternoon, and it was too late to find someone to take my place. I finally took
the plane home the next day. We chose the coffin and had my father set up for
the wake in the house but the funeral parlor took a long time to do it and I had
to leave again before he got there.
I was back in Cebu by Monday where I tried to wind up my affairs for the
long week ahead and expected absence from my office. I would go back the
following day after I made the necessary arrangements. The next morning, I was
going into the hospital parking lot when I noticed a large green-and-blue
butterfly that was flying slowly just to my right. Now, there were hardly ever
any butterflies in that area, as there were no plants there and the nearest
trees were across the street. The parking area itself was enclosed by the
building and further inside was a side entrance to the hospital.
I've always liked butterflies, so I stopped and the butterfly just hovered
beside me. There were no people near me, so I spoke to it and wondered if it
was who I thought it was, because we have talked about butterflies before
seeming to represent loved ones coming back briefly after they have passed on,
and this was also a belief of some people in the region.
I walked several steps forward and the butterfly went with me. It stopped
when I stopped, which I did at least three times. I spoke to it as though I was
talking to my father, and I said I knew he was well and I knew he was happy, and
that we will miss him but that I was glad his pain while he was lingering and on
the respirator was all over.
We got to the hospital side entrance and I stopped again. I opened the door
and said , "Come inside with me," and motioned to it while holding the
door open. I moved nearer but it did not fly away. It hovered for a while
there but stayed outside the door, then it must have flown away because when I
went out to look a few seconds later it was gone.
When I got back home my father looked peaceful and so much younger and I
felt so much love for him there that we could not help singing his favorite
songs to him, my uncle and I. The butterfly incident was my secret for a while
but when I told my family about it they were not at all surprised.
- Kimberly D. Cheatham, Mt Washington, KY, USA
- Two years ago in March of 1997, I was in the middle of a divorce and was
extremely upset as well as mentally and physically upset. A good friend from
work gave me a daily devotional on Easter Sunday. I set it on my makeup table
and would read it every morning as I tried to get ready for work.
One morning, it said that when I saw a butterfly that day, to remember that
God gives each of us a new fresh start everyday, and when I did to remember to
keep my faith. Well, it was late March or early April, and I remember
thinking to myself that butterflies were not even around yet. During the day I
got upset, and took an early lunch so I could go home for a few minutes and try
to get myself straightened up. As I was sitting at the red light getting ready
to turn into my road, I had the windows down and the sunroof open, as it was the
first day warm enough for the year that I could do that. As I set there waiting
for the light to turn green, all of a sudden, a beautiful Yellow Butterfly
fluttered up to my window, flew right in front of my face, flitted around in the
car a few times, and then flew out of my sunroof! I just sat there in utter
amazement, and said out loud "Yes God, I know you are here with me!"
Two weeks later, I was baptized, and I have kept my faith that God does have a
plan for me, and I trust my life to him.
I now have a butterfly with a cross on it hanging from my rearview mirror,
and butterflies all over my home. Every time I see them, I know God is with me.
- Jim O'Dell, Fort Collins, CO, USA
- I have only been watching butterflies for about three years as we lived in
an apartment and didn't have a garden. It is so much fun to watch them play tag
and jump from one plant to another. They also like the bird bath we have in our
back yard by the strawberry patch. Didn't realize there were so many different
kinds until I began watching them.
- Emily Hetzler, Colorado Springs, CO, USA
- My dad is a Lepidopterist, and all of my life I have gone with him on field
studies. My favorites are alpine butterflies which fly high above timberline in
the Colorado Rockies. One, called Erebia magdalena, not only has camouflage
better than any tropical butterfly, but it is smarter too. Magdalena is jet
black and when fresh, the wings are iridescent with the colors of the rainbow.
It flies over fjellfield slopes of boulders,usually above 13,000 feet altitude,
and chasing one risks a painful slip, fall and maybe a few broken bones. When
Magdalena lands, its camouflage and intelligence make it invisible. Perched on a
boulder, its wings look just like any other black disk of lichen, thousands of
which are splotched over the rocks. But this butterfly has "learned"
to lean away from the sun, so its wings, folded over back, do not leave a shadow
on the rock! Doing this, it fools predatory birds, to which its lack of shadow
translates into "nothing to eat here." And it fools scientists, who
write that the butterfly eludes collectors by dropping into deep crevices, where
it hides. You won't find Magdalena in any crevices. It hides in plain view.
- Bill Gould, Nashville, TN, USA
- In January of 1997 a friend of mine purchased 7 1/2 acres of land just
outside of Nashville on a country road. A portion of this land was known as "the
dump". For over 35 years people have been dumping their trash on this
property. There were old t.v's, couches, refrigerators, water heaters, hundreds
of tires and several car bodies. There were shingles, siding and lots of old
carpet. What a mess. I went out there to see it and I sat in my car and just
cried. It was terrible to see all this junk in such a beautiful setting of
hardwood forest. I said, we can make this better! We got the media's attention
and the city of Nashville waived most of the fees and we got the entire mess
cleaned up by bulldozer. Over 500 tons of waste had to be hauled out. We then
barricaded the area off by huge boulders so no one else could dump. We added
new soil and regraded the land. I started scattering seeds of native plants and
flowers. Finally as of this summer, it has completely healed and is the most
beautiful flower meadow around. There were 1000's of butterflies and
dragonflies all summer long. Now I can go out there and sit on one of the big
rocks and watch the butterflies fly free! We did it! We brought this land
back to life. I now have a quiet place to return to watch butterflies and
regain some sanity. It was a job I really feel good about. Truly the butterfly
has changed my outlook on life.
- Mebutrfly2, Rouge Valley, OR, USA
- As a child I always enjoyed butterflies but I fell in love with them when
my niece (who at the time was three) and I were walking in the park one day.
You see we had recently found out Elizabeth was deaf. As I walked I was
listening to the birds sing and feeling sorry for her. Suddenly Elizabeth made a
high pitched scream (a sound that is like a whisper to a deaf child). I looked
down to see what had gotten her attention and there in front of us had landed a
butterfly, silently and gracefully. I realized at that time you need no ears
to hear the song of the butterfly. We followed that butterfly for quite awhile
watching her flutter and it was like music to the eyes. One of Elizabeth's
favorite signs (in American Sign Language) is Butterfly.
- Mary Shannep, Phoenix, AZ, USA
- When I recently re-entered College (a very frightening thing for someone
over fifty), I was excessively stressed. One day, while taking a break from
the computer lab, I walked outside into the school's garden area. There were
green ice plants there and, curiously, there were loads of tiny yellow blossoms
on them. What happened then inspired this poem from my book of poetry called
Butterflies. I have also included this poem on my
Green Ice Plants, Yellow Blossoms,
a cool vision inviting me,
sojourn within those bounds,
of peace and tranquility.
Step I from my world
to tread among the flowers.
A cloud arises around me -
breathe, I freeze!
Dazzled and confused, my mind
engulfed in wings, so tiny,
transporting me amid wings,
above the desert Mesquite tree!
I am in their
world, so free.
Me and my love, butterflies,
beyond the Joshua Tree.
imprisoned soul, it soars!
Above the desert heat waves,
the butterflies and I
from Chollas and Saguaros -
(c) MS. 1996
- Emma, WY, USA
- When I was five, it was a mid summer day that the family decided to have a
huge barbecue at a big plot of land that we own out north of Cheyenne. I was
off about ten or twenty feet from my mother, and yet still in view. I was on a
sandy area, no flowers around where I was, and all of a sudden, a large group of
butterflies flocked overhead, migrating for the fall. They stopped their course,
and headed towards me, landing on me and all over me. My family was in awe. They
just stopped everything, to see this little five year old baby with monarch
butterflies all over her.
Ever since, every summer, every time the butterflies are thick like they
are, they treat me as a flower, and land on me, unafraid, letting me touch them.
Even last summer up at my favorite vacation spot at Hawk Springs, every
butterfly that would fly over head would stop and land on me, and even let me
touch them. I am a huge Avid fanatic of butterflies, everything I do, have and
belong to has to do with butterflies. even my screen name "monarch711"
has to do with butterflies. I can't wait to see what will happen when I go to
the Butterfly Pavilion in Denver for my birthday!
- Mario C. Callegari, Iquitos, Loreto, PERU
- Hello. I am sorry for my broken English. Many insects save my life in
PAJATEN II (las ruinas de Marcial), because for 31 days we eat only bees,
butterflies and some beetles (cincindela). Many people explain our history, but
nobody understand the protein in an insect. Jean de Coninck (Belgium), Segundo
Rivadeneyra and I (Peruvians) are okay because of these little friends.
- John Hetzler, Colorado Springs, CO, USA
- When I was ten years old, my father owned a sandwich shop in downtown
Colorado Springs, where I worked during the summer delivering lunch orders,
usually to attorneys and bankers. Once, when delivering lunch, I saw a huge moth
flapping it wings against the window, trying to get into the building. Having
developed a great interest in moths, I had learned much, and instantly knew this
moth was a foreign, exotic visitor known as Thysania agrippina.
I dropped the lunch I was delivering and chased the moth. It would fly into
the street and back into the window, and I would follow, oblivious to the
traffic with which I was interfering, and to the policeman who was trying to
catch me. Finally, I lunged at the moth against the window, pinning it with my
chest to the glass. I vividly remember its wings being as wide as my chest.
My parents received numerous calls from clients who knew us, who watched the
incident from their office windows, and were convinced that I had gone crazy.
Nobody could understand what the capture of that moth meant to a ten year old
boy who loved moths. I wiggled my fingers under my chest, onto the moth's
wingtips and when I felt I had it, I backed away from the window. The moth
furiously flapped and tore its wing tips from my fingers. It briefly escaped,
only to fly through the window of a diner across the street. Of course
I followed it. I asked the man behind the counter, "did you see a big moth
fly in here?" He replied, "no, but a bird flew in there,"
pointing to a hole in the ceiling. I asked to climb through the hole because I
was trying to catch the moth, but the man said I couldn't climb up there. It was
dusty and dirty, and he didn't want me knocking dirt down onto the counter.
I returned to the sandwich shop, sad to have missed the moth. Over and over
in my mind ran the memory of my chest pinning its wings against the glass, and
how my underestimation of its strength and slipperiness allowed it to escape. My
parents were not happy with me, and for the first time, I became aware of the
ruckus I'd caused. Though I begged to go back to the diner to look for the moth,
my mother refused. The afternoon became extremely long, as I could think
of nothing else but that huge moth. Finally it was closing time. As we walked
to the car, I asked if I could go by the diner, just to look and hope. My
mother, who had no interest in moths, didn't answer. I dashed ahead, and there,
on the windowsill, inside the window, sat the great moth with its wings held in
a huge "V" over its back. I picked it up and put it in a cigar box
which I was carrying, in which I had put the torn wingtips.
The moth is in my collection now. His wings are eleven inches in span, and
the repaired tears at the tips are testimony to this story and how it reinforced
a love for knowledge which has never faded. Knowledge allows us to notice
the extraordinary, separate it from the ordinary, then recognize and cherish it.
Others saw a boy in a moment of crazed insanity. Because I took the time, not
just to look at moths, but learn about them, I saw something useful and unusual
about capturing the world's largest moth in Colorado Springs, several thousand
miles away from its normal home in Brazil.
- Jenn Story, Somerset, NJ, USA
- Throughout my life, butterflies have always been a source of wonder for
me. As a child, it was their pure beauty that struck me. As I grew, my artistic
side drew me closer to them- the details in a wing or the gold spots on a
cocoon. I sketched and painted Monarchs, Swallowtails, and Painted Ladies. It
wasn't until a fall day that they came to mean so much more.
I found a couple of caterpillars on some milkweed behind our barn. I took
them into my bedroom. Being a typical little kid, I forgot about the two
creatures and walked downstairs to play. A few weeks later I saw two brown
cocoons hanging from my lamp shade. Each morning I would wake up and smile at my
friends sleeping along side of me.
One morning I woke up and both were hatching simultaneously. It was in that
moment, that I realized how amazing butterflies really are. They had been
friends outside, made their cocoons next to one another, and broke free
together. They symbolized more than simply beautiful things. Butterflies became
mystical beings that represented harmony, metamorphosis, and transformation.
As a little farm girl, this was a great lesson to learn. The power to grow,
to change, to transform into the woman that I want to be is represented in the
butterfly's life. As a 20 year old, I feel I am still only a tiny green
caterpillar with little orange speckles, wandering in an overwhelming jungle of
opportunity. It is the transformation that I strive for. We must all remember
that we need to really work, really see, to become as beautiful, on the inside
and out, as the butterflies.
- Janice Esposito, New Bern, NC, USA
- Six years ago when I arrived in North Carolina from California I met a
woman named Theresa. I was troubled and didn't know who to turn to, and Theresa,
23 yrs. my senior, reached out to me in my time of need and confusion. One of
the first things she said to me, in my despair, was "Butterflies are free,
and so are we". I did not understand that then, but coming to understand
that this woman deeply loved and admired the butterfly, for its beauty and
symbolism, I soon began to feel her enlightenment.
From the beginning it was a God-inspired relationship. We were soul-mates
and our friendship deepened with every day. She constantly reminded me that
butterflies are free, and so are we. The butterfly became our symbol, for
inspiration, for our God-consciousness of the world, for our soul-searching and
deeper understanding of our lives.
Three years ago Theresa was diagnosed with lung cancer. The past three years
have been filled with surgery (removal of half of her left lung), chemotherapy,
radiation, drugs, pain, struggle. Through it all, the butterfly carried us above
her torment of physical pain, bringing us to a higher spiritual level during the
roughest of times. I started to call her Butterfly. It was a strength between
friends that nobody else was able to comprehend. In October of this year I sent
away for a dozen live monarchs, and in the balmy North Carolina air on Theresa's
porch, I presented her with the ultimate gift. She sobbed out of joy at the
gift. Then we each, her struggling in her human body (ravaged by the cancer),
let each butterfly fly free, one at a time. It was the most beautiful memory God
has given the two of us... comrades through the storms of life, lifted always by
the "little soul"... The Butterfly.
- Wendy Kabiri, Orange, CA, USA
- A long time ago, I was told that to see a butterfly fluttering about in
front of one's house or in one's garden is to receive good news in the form of a
pleasant visitor, telephone call or a letter. This has happened several times to
me, and I believe that to see a butterfly in my pathway is a good event for me.
- Carol Neal, Orange, CA, USA
- I was grieving over the death of a much beloved companion dog. His death
had come quite suddenly and I was missing him very much and having a lot of
trouble coming to terms with his loss. The usual questions one has at that
time: God, why him? Why now? etc. I was sitting in the house listening to
Mozart's Requiem. Suddenly for some unexplained reason I was compelled to go
outside. I stepped out to the patio and stood there, face wet with tears, when
the most beautiful large purple and black butterfly appeared seemingly out of
nowhere and fluttered in front of me. I was simply awestruck. As quickly as it
had appeared it fluttered around the corner of the house. I stepped out to
watch it and it had disappeared. As I stood there the thought came to me,
overwhelming me and giving me the peace I had been seeking. I do not know
whether his spirit was there in that butterfly or not but I knew that day that
he was gone to a better place and was okay. I also realized that God had given
me a wonderful gift in the time we had together and that it was his time to be
- Stefany, Los Angeles, CA, USA
- Butterflies are the most beautiful creatures in the world. I was getting
ready to go visit my cousin (who had just had a heart transplant) in the
hospital one morning, I saw a monarch setting on my windowsill, and I was filled
with an overwhelming sensation of hope for the day that was to come, and for
life in general. When I visited the hospital my cousin was walking up and down
the corridors. She was barely able to rise out of bed before the operation, and
this was a remarkable accomplishment for her. I knew then that the butterfly
was a sign from God that I would be able to enjoy my cousin's company in years
- Sam Apo, Kaneohe, HI, USA
- In Hawaii, culture maintains that the large, dark Hawaiian Moth's visit to
the home of a recently deceased is a visit by the deceased and accepted as a
good sign. As a child (1930) I used to swat at them and was reprimanded by my
Hawaiian grandmother who was totally versed in and lived the Hawaiian Culture of
her ancestors and mine.
- Jessika Pabon, Boston, MA USA
- I went to the butterfly world in Westford MA and I bought two American
painted lady caterpillars. I know it doesn't take much work to watch them
evolve but, it was when I came home at night and saw the stages that they went
through the tears would come to my eyes. I knew I would have to let them free
one day. I named them Lily and Lucy, they were so beautiful. When they emerged
from their cocoons I watched. My friends were there and they said I looked like
I had just been touched by an angel or something. I felt so good but at the
same time I wanted to die because I would have to let them go into a harsh
world. I let them flutter around my room for like two minutes and then I let
them go, but they stood on my windowsill, and it was almost as if they were
saying goodbye. Silly isn't it? Anyway that's my story.
- Julie Graham, St. Albans, WV, USA
- This is a story of inspiration for any Christian believer. It's just a
little story of magic and mystery. At the end of the Monarch season last
October I was watching the diminishing number of larva and decided to bring one
more into my house but instead of placing it in a 'nursery box' I decided to
just place the growing caterpillar on the butterfly weed leaves in a vase. I
thought it would be fun just to see where it would pupate as I had a caterpillar
escape from my nursery and hang from the ceiling in my kitchen. I placed this
vase on my bedroom dresser. In a few days I noticed I couldn't see the
caterpillar any longer and looked all around to find its chrysalis. I could
never find it however I did notice what appeared to be an opaque trail across my
landscape mirror. The trail was sidewinding from the lower corner where I had
placed the vase to the upper corner of the mirror. Once again I looked over,
under and behind the mirror to find the chrysalis. I could not find it. I
repeated the looking process many times. In a couple weeks I went into my
bedroom one evening and turned the light on my bedside table. The monarch was
behind the light on the wall. It obviously hatched. I was delighted. I
decided to try to find a safe place for it to perch and took it on my fingers
back toward the mirror when suddenly I noticed its empty chrysalid. The
chrysalid was hanging from the right arm of a little wooden cross made from the
twigs of tree. We made these crosses as necklaces at Bible School during the
summer when I taught the pre- school class. I had hung this necklace over the
corner of my mirror, the corner opposite of where I'd placed the vase with the
caterpillar. The caterpillar could have picked a million different places to
pupate but crawled about four feet to hang from the arm of this little wooden
cross. What a sight to see its empty chrysalid hanging there. AWESOME!!!
- My dear father had died in March 1984. Still mourning in May, I went
outside with my Bible Devotional book, hoping that when I read it I would be
comforted by its uplifting words. I also thought spending some time in my sunny
garden would lift my spirits. So, there I sat reading, with my book on my lap.
As I started to turn the page, a Painted Lady butterfly alighted on my index
finger! It did not seem to mind when I continued to turn the page (I was in
disbelief!) so it remained with me for a few glorious moments before traveling
down my finger, then across the devotional, and upwards into the sky. At that
moment I thought of my father and wondered if this was the Lord's way of
comforting me with a most surprising, and pleasant visit from one of His own
creations. Now, I can't think of, speak about, or see a butterfly without also
thinking of my father. And since I am the Director of the Butterfly Garden at
our children's school, I think of him often, with warmth and comfort from that
sunny day, when a miracle came into my garden! God bless you all.
- Bridgeport, CT, USA
- This summer, my Grandmother was dying of Cancer. During that time
everywhere I went, I saw a monarch butterfly. The butterfly always seemed to be
out of place, like in the city street. After my Grandmother had died, one
landed on my car in the middle of Main street in Bridgeport. I feel butterflies
are the spirits of our loved ones who have passed on.
- Michael J. Smajda
- A darling fifth grader at a South Florida school passed away last year due
to cancer. She loved butterflies and the school had just about finished a
butterfly garden. In memoriam, I wrote the following which appeared in their
OUR GARDENING ANGEL
I thought I saw an angel
I looked up in the sky.
But on closer observation
It was a beautiful
I named the butterfly Jaimie
After the friend we all knew.
too, was angelic like these
Butterflies before your view.
- Ernie Pfeil, Columbus, OH, USA
- When I was a little boy, my grandmother was quite fond of butterflies. I
remember that she always collected them pressed into scrapbooks. She always
told me that when she died she would return as a butterfly. So she told me
that if a butterfly ever lands on my shoulder, it would be her. I always think
of that when I see a butterfly.
- Heather, Denville, NJ, USA
- October of 1996, my 10 year old brother brought to my attention a
perfect-looking but dead Monarch. Upon inspection I realized that it wasn't
dead but in hibernation. I kept him (Monet was his name) for 3 weeks feeding
him synthetic nectar, as all of the flower blossoms in the area had died from
the frosts. This little creature affected my life very deeply -- I have been a
true butterfly lover since.
- Lindsey, USA
- I am a 13 year old seventh grade student. I have been inspired by a
particular butterfly in two scenarios. In both they include inspiration and
dedication. In my class my teacher sent away for a certain amount of monarch
butterflies. When we received them they were mostly chrysalids. We put all the
chrysalids in a tank with a wire top. We recorded the dates when each pupated.
It was a very interesting project for our class. We planned to tag the
monarchs. The weekend arrived and we left on Friday. When we returned more
than half of them were dead. We believe that the tank must have been shaken by
accident. Our class was very disturbed and curious. We only got to actually
tag 2 or 3 monarchs, but we learned a lesson for a lifetime. This may not seem
interesting but for a young child like me I understood how Life Science works.
- Rome Milan, Fort Worth, TX, USA
- Our story begins with my 5 year old son finding and corralling a
caterpillar in our garage. When he called for me to see what he had found, I
unknowingly ran into the garage with my size 10 feet. This created a situation
where I must make amends to my son. I found another caterpillar (monarch)
within the week. My son, Paris, of course took it to show-and-tell and soon we
had our first pupated pet. His interest continued to grow and we gathered many
moth and butterfly larvae to raise in our home. The adult butterflies would fly
around in the house for days before our live releases. In May my wife Mila and
I had an addition to our family, Matisse Milan was born. Of course the
butterflies would land on her and we have many photos. This is where our
emotional attachment to butterflies begins. Unfortunately our daughter was
diagnosed with an extremely rare neurological condition known as 'Infantile
Spasm' in June. Complications of this condition later took her life at 3-1/2
months of age. We wanted her funeral to be a celebration. So we spoke of
releasing balloons. This would not be good due to environmental damage. So
doves came up, but butterflies were so much more appropriate for us and her.
The circle of life symbolism and the chance for everyone to let go was a good
idea. So the morning of Matisse's funeral we gathered a posse and collected
over 100 butterflies, mostly Cloudless Sulphurs and Red Admirals. We boxed them
in small boxes with a window and a label with an appropriate saying. Each
family was asked to take one box at the service to release at the site. It was
a wonderful event and many in attendance have told us that every butterfly they
see reminds them of our little darling Matisse My son is more into lepidoptera
than ever. He has reared over 40 butterflies and moths. He currently has 13
cocoons waiting through the winter. He has joined the Fort Worth Butterfly
Society and we were part of Monarch Watch. My involvement has only become a
hobby after Matisse's passing.
- Judy Divers, Altamonte Spring, FL, USA
- One day I was standing outside just feeling so lost. I was concentrating
on this butterfly flitting from one blade of grass to the next. I thought, how
so like my life.....I don't know where to go next. I was frustrated with trying
to move on alone, trying to cope with a job I no longer felt good
about.....trying to decide whether or not to sell my house and move. My whole
life was within this cocoon of protection.....first my father, then my husband.
I was wrapped in safety as long as Bill was alive knowing he would take care of
me. Suddenly, I'm alone...... moving from one thought to another, decisions
having to be made but not being able to decide "which blade of grass to
settle on". This butterfly seemed to be so free.... yet drifting. I was
free from this cocoon and drifting in a new life that I had to make for myself.
So I had to set myself free from everything that was stopping me.
I thought of all the people I had met online. The widower.....he most
likely held his wife in that cocoon as Bill held me and now he no longer had
her to hold and protect. His strength was in being able to protect and take
care of her.....and now he feels helpless and alone. The widow.. ......feeling
let go of this protection as I did and struggling to find her way again. The
parents who lose children feel the tremendous pain of seeing their child die
before them. This wasn't supposed to be this way......parents holding their
children in the cocoon of love and protection. So all of us, no matter who we
lost find ourselves breaking away from this cocoon......flitting from one
emotion to the other, one thought to the other because so much goes through our
minds and our hearts.
So I watched that butterfly and realized with all the splendor of life, that
the life span of this beautiful creature was so short. I had to make a decision
before I let my life pass me by. I had to find my way like the butterfly who
finally landed on the sweetness of the flower I thought, there is so much
beauty in this world.....don't let it pass you by. If I were to die
tomorrow......I will have tasted that freedom and the sweetness and know that
life is so short, so unpredictable, but so very precious. It's up to me to make
it meaningful or meaningless. Having Bill in my life was meaningful.....having
him die was not going to be meaningless. And it was up to me which direction I
took. I let myself be free.
- Barbara, Gloucester, VA, USA
- I'm 41 and have always loved Butterflies. When I was very little,
butterflies would land on me I never knew why, just that they did. I seemed to
attract them wherever I was. I have always gone out of my way to protect
butterflies and save them whenever possible. I collect butterflies and can
never get enough of them. I have some in every room in my house. I think it
might have rubbed off on my daughter. When she was a baby, ladybugs would land
on her - it was history repeating itself. I'm always looking for more
butterflies to collect and add to my homepage. If you would like to stop by and
see my page the address is ...http://www.qtm.net/~lilsnoop/bfly.htm
I would love to hear from fellow butterfly lovers.
- Elizabeth Chrenka, Eden Prairie, MN, USA
- I am in 6th grade. About a month ago our class started to raise monarch
butterflies. We received them as larva (caterpillars). Every group of people
got two of the larva. Most of the kids named their caterpillars. Our group
named one of ours Tubby because he was much more plump than the others. And
the other we named Squirmy because he loved to crawl around and was very active.
They were kept in little aquarium-like containers. As soon as Squirmy got in,
he started to eat a hole in one of the milkweed leaves in the cage. It soon
grew. I watched as Squirmy carefully bit out small pieces into a very
distinctive shape, a heart!! Squirmy then moved away from the leaf and left
the heart as it was. Our caterpillars grew rapidly and soon became 3 or 4 cm in
length. After 15 days or so, Tubby was hanging in his 'j' (the stage before
they pupate). As Tubby hung, Squirmy crawled around the corner that Tubby was
in. After a few more days Squirmy was hanging too. They soon began to molt.
Tubby was first. Their skin fell to the bottom of the cage. Soon after, they
made their chrysalis. They stayed like this for about 14 days then they
emerged. Tubby came out first as a strange looking creature. His wings were
small and shriveled and his abdomen was bloated like a balloon. He hung upside
down and pumped fluid into his wings. Slowly, the wings got larger and more
distinctive and his abdomen got smaller. About a day after Squirmy was out
too. As soon as they could fly, we had to tag and release them. I held
Squirmy, who turned out to be a female, while another kid in my group tagged
her. Tubby, who turned out to be a male, could not be tagged because we only
had so many stickers. Outside, we opened their cages and let them fly away in
A few days later a butterfly that was unable to fly was found. The
butterfly was tagged, but not from our room. One of the other teachers kept it
in her room. I went into that classroom about a day later. The butterfly was
sort of rolled over. Several slices of watermelon had been placed in the cage.
I whispered softly to the butterfly, just some soothing words. The butterfly
straightened up and flapped its wings a few times. A few minutes later I
whispered softly once more. The butterfly uncurled its proboscis and started to
suck the melon. I told it that it needed strength to fly. The next day I went
to the class, the butterfly was gone. I asked the teacher what happened to it.
She said that it seemed strong they took it outside and it flew away.
- Amber, USA
- Approximately 5 years ago I became quite ill and was hospitalized. Tumors
were discovered on my brainstem. I required immediate surgery to relieve the
pressure of NF2 (neurofibromatosis type II) and save my life. Following the
surgery I became deaf and unable to walk. Serious post surgery depression set
in and painted a grim future. Noticing a butterfly flitting around my flower
garden I thought of how the butterfly starts. Just a caterpillar. And then
with time transforms into a beautiful butterfly. I knew I could be a butterfly
too. I could grow with my NF2 disease and transform into something beautiful.
I love the butterfly for showing me the beauty in living. That is how the
butterfly touched my life.
- Jon Timko, Hockessin, DE USA
- My wife is a social worker at a local nursing home. We also rear Monarchs.
This past year my wife has taken some of our stock into the home for the
residents to observe and enjoy. She has displayed all the stages and makes sure
to include plenty that will change from larvae to chrysalis and chrysalis to
emerging adult. It's amazing how many of the residents look forward to coming
to the display each day. Some of them will sit and watch patiently for the
transformations to take place, or simply watch the adults flutter, light, and
feed in the hanging cage for hours (have to admit, I'm still amazed as well
even after raising hundreds!). Several ask to handle the larvae and newly
emerged butterflies and my wife accommodates them. Our culture is very small
at the moment due to the season so we haven't been able to keep the display
going. As a result my wife is currently barraged with the question "When
are our butterflies coming back?!". It's a joy for both the residents and
- Petra Bennett, Georgetown, Ontario CANADA
- After reading a recent editorial written by a woman who had lost her mother
to cancer, I decided to take a more keen interest in my surroundings. It seems
that this woman would encounter butterflies whenever she thought of her mother.
Moreover, it didn't seem to matter what the season was because the butterflies
would appear as themselves, or as part of a pattern on something her mother
spotted in a shop window.
I lost a friend to cancer over two years ago, and as a means of coping I
became more attuned to my immediate environment, particularly when I thought of
him. I chronicled my experiences in a journal, and it is only after reading
this journal do I begin to see a familiar pattern. It seems that when I do
think of him, a butterfly will either fly directly in my path, or hover nearby.
At the end of the summer I was discussing these episodes over tea with a
friend. On each of our plates was a single violet flower which I kept to add to
my collection of pressed flowers. My friend kindly gave me hers, and I was
grateful because it appeared to be much bigger and more colourful than my
smaller one. Two months later when I retrieved them, I wasn't surprised to see
that my friend's flower had pressed beautifully, but I was very surprised to see
that my smaller and somewhat bedraggled violet was in the perfect shape of a
butterfly. I framed it to reflect this, and people continue to marvel at its
When the colder weather approached, I began to feel apprehensive because I
knew that I would no longer see real live butterflies to remind me of my friend.
As I thought of this one morning while I prepared for my walk, I opened the
front door to see a beautiful Monarch butterfly sitting on our doorstep. I
carefully picked it up -- realizing that it had slowed down due to the cold, and
brought it inside to warm up. It soon started flicking its tongue and looking
around and I watched as it flew outside up into our cedar tree to warm itself in
I hope that this will encourage readers to be more sensitive to their
surroundings, particularly when they have lost someone special. I can't think
of a better symbol of someone's presence than a beautiful butterfly.
- Atascosa, TX USA
- As a child I remember reading a story about a Plains Indian tribe, the
Blackfoot, I believe. A mother and daughter were walking in a meadow and
observed the butterflies as they floated from flower to flower. "Catch
one," the mother said, "without injuring it. Hold it gently in your
cupped hands over your heart, and ask that the spirit of the butterfly give you
beauty and grace."
- "B", Eatonton, GA, USA
- I am a 48 year old woman and my butterfly story began in the spring of
1996. My 85 year old step-dad was ill with chronic lung disease. In March he
became seriously ill. Being a devout Christian, he had no fear of dying and was
inspirational to my husband and me.
Having said that, I felt comfortable asking him in May, when he was near the
end (or should I say, "his beginning!") a unique question. My mom had
died in 1991 of cancer. I asked him if he could let me know some way if mom and
he were ok and happy. He said he would do it for me and I believed him. On the
day of his funeral May 31, my husband saw a butterfly on a window inside our
house. He said nothing at the time, but picked it up and took it outside. The
butterfly flew to his shoulder then disappeared. He told me about it that
night. It did not really occur to me that this was God's sign until 2 weeks
later when I was alone at home. I saw a butterfly on the same window inside. I
took it outside and let it go. I was still totally unaware. Later that day
when my husband came home, I saw the butterfly again in the same place inside.
A "light" came on. I took it out again and he flew around and lit on
my shoulder for at least 5 minutes. Then he disappeared just like that! Now, I
In September of 1996, on a day when I was quite depressed he appeared on
our front porch. This time we both held the butterfly (or actually it "held"
us!) We took photos of it with each of us. Since then I have become a
butterfly enthusiast and have identified and photographed many butterflies in my
garden in 1997. We identified "our butterfly" as a hackberry. I have
seen other hackberries but none let me touch them. Our elusive butterfly was
truly a symbol of new life.
- Laura Mitchell, Terre Haute, IN USA
- My mother died of lung cancer on Nov. 4, 1992. The Cub Scout Pack which my
husband and I devoted much effort to gave us a gift certificate for a memorial
tree to plant at our home. I chose a white dogwood, and in May 1993, it
bloomed, its first Spring in our yard. To my amazement, one day when I was
looking at it, a Monarch butterfly landed on the blooming tree. To me this was
a sign, because it was a tree dedicated to my mother. I had raised Monarchs
almost exclusively for many years as it is my favorite butterfly and in my area
of Indiana, I never even saw a Monarch each year until around July 4th.
- Linda, Corrales, NM USA
- How sad the world would be without the soft flutter of gentle wings lightly
skipping by. The butterflies' arrival is always a welcome and sure sign of
spring. They light gently on the soft peachy cheeks of little children. It was
always joyful to my heart to watch the ecstatic faces and shrieks of joy of my
children at ages 2-4 when the summer butterflies would light on their faces to "kiss"
their cheeks. This spring we had a visitor come a whole month earlier than any
other butterflies would arrive. An early, but temporary, break in the winter
guided a swallowtail butterfly to our home. The winter was not over and the
night was too chilly. We brought it in the house and there it survived for 1
1/2 more weeks.
- Minneapolis, MN USA
- My cousin was dying of a rare tongue cancer and was being taken care of at
home by his family. I had been raising Monarch butterflies in the summer. I
only had 2 chrysalids left when I went to see him the last time. I taped them
to the inside of a jar and covered it with netting. Several hours before I got
to his house, one of the butterflies emerged. My cousin was on a lot of
morphine but was fascinated by the butterfly in the jar. Before I left, his
wife and I took the jar outside and let the Monarch go. My cousin was very
weak, but was thrilled as he stood by the window and watched. During the next
few days, I am told that he held the jar and kept watching the chrysalid.
Finally it emerged, and again he watched as it was released.
When I was informed of his death, I decided to make a special wreath for his
wife. I used fall colors, leaves, flowers, and even a bird's nest in a sumac
branch. I thought how special it would be if I had a real Monarch. I had seen
some dead Monarchs alongside a highway last August, during the height of their
migration south. This was late November. I prayed that God would let me find
one PERFECT Monarch butterfly to add to the wreath. I found to my dismay that
the grass had been mowed down. Even under ideal conditions, the Monarchs would
be damaged by cars. We'd already had a frost, and it was freezing cold. I
realized that it was silly to be looking, but I HAD prayed and knew that God
knew how special this would be to the family. I began looking in the short
brown grass. Nothing. I drove to another spot, and I saw ... a PERFECT Monarch
... so perfect that I had to be sure it wasn't alive. I carefully picked it up
and added it to the wreath. Needless to say, the family was very touched by the
- Cindy Hnat, Parma, OH, USA
- My mother passed away from lung cancer on May 22, 1997. We were extremely
close and I miss her terribly. My father is still alive, and he is a very
demanding, irrational, and unpleasant person, but I feel obligated to stay in
touch with him. One of the first times I went to his house, after my mother
passed away, I saw a beautiful white butterfly fly past me. I didn't think
anything of it. Then I came to his house again, and as I was leaving, a white
butterfly flew past me again. I felt warm inside and thought that perhaps it
was a sign from my mother, but quickly dismissed it, thinking that it was
irrational. However, when I saw it for the third time, I believed. I knew that
it was my mother letting me know that she was there with me.
It appeared several times after that. Once, I was sitting inside the house
making out bills for my dad (he's legally blind) and he was being exceptionally
draining that day. I was becoming exasperated, and so I looked up and through
the window, I saw the white butterfly. I immediately became calm and was able
to deal much better with my father. Then several weeks ago, I went to the
cemetery with my father, because he really wanted to go. I was overwhelmed with
sadness, as I stood at the grave. I thought I was going to pass out. Just
then, this beautiful monarch butterfly flew past me, and once again I knew
that it was a sign from my mother that she was with God and also there with me.
- Chicago, IL, USA
- It was a sunny spring day in Chicago. I was attending the funeral of a
friend's grandmother. Everyone stood around the casket as her son spoke the
last words before they lowered it. Within the first sentence of his speech a
butterfly landed on the flowers that laid on top of her. It stayed there for
the entire speech and when he was finished it flew away. It was as if the
butterfly flew away and took her with it. It was a beautiful scene that is
imprinted upon my memory forever.
- Safari Bob and Annie, Bedford Hills, NY, USA
- We are members of Annie and The Natural Wonder Band. On our latest of 5
recordings about the wonders of nature, we wrote "Little Bitter Butterfly"
about the Monarch and their safari to Mexico. Also, our friends at the Bronx Zoo
in NYC have a fabulous butterfly exhibit, where you can walk into a gigantic
caterpillar and enter a netted enclosure with thousands of butterflies and
excellent displays and info regarding our wonderful friends.
- Matthew Powers, London, ENGLAND
- I had just broken up with Vanessa, and then I saw a butterfly. It flew to
me and landed on my shoulder. You know that saying, that butterflies bring good
luck? Well I am a firm believer of that. When the lepidoptera flew away, the
phone rang - it was Vanessa. She called to say she was sorry and that she
wanted me back. I asked her to marry me and she said Yes! That was five years
ago, and we are still happy together. We are expecting a baby, a girl, and we
decided to name her Austen - Austen Monarch Powers - now doesn't that sound
- Portland, OR, USA
- About 14 years ago I got sober. One of the first things I wanted to do
after leaving a 30 day treatment center was to get rid of some of my trappings
of my prior addictions. I don't know why, but I decided I wanted to toss one
particular item from the top of Larch Mt., a medium-sized butte just outside of
Portland. As I was standing at the top with my paraphernalia in hand ready to
be tossed out for a new life, seriously thinking on whether I really wanted to
do this or not, a beautiful butterfly landed on my arm and just sat. For me it
was my sign that my new life was starting. I then gave a big toss and 'cast
off' my old life. And just as soon as I had finished this my beautiful new life
sign took flight in the same direction as my old life had gone. Writing has
never been my strong point, however even as I retell this it makes me shiver,
because it was so strong a feeling of old and new.
- Kristina, Taylor, MI, USA
- When I was about 9 I was outside riding my brother's skateboard and I fell
off and got knocked unconscious. When I woke up I didn't know where I was and
there was no one around so I just started to cry as I looked up in the clouds
hoping some one would come and find me. Then I saw three butterflies: one white
butterfly and the other two were really colorful. They just flew around near me
then a couple seconds later my mom came out and brought me in the house. I
really think butterflies are the most magical insects.
- Sylvia Syms, Altadena, CA, USA
- As a part of our science program we decided to utilize a prepackaged
butterfly kit. We set our Monarchs free on April 14th, the same day we visited
the San Gabriel Mission. Just that morning the five of us had prayed in a 226
year old church and stood before the graves of holy men. We opened ourselves to
learning that day and got exactly what we'd asked for.
As we'd watched these beauties develop we were in awe at each stage. One
aspect that we found particularly amazing was the way the excess colour dripped
off of them. My 6 year old noted on their liberation day that the color had
set. My nine year old talked about how their wings would take them as far as
they could fly, my 12 year old son remarked how quickly they took off when they
saw that they were free and days later, my 14 year old son said he thought he
saw one of them over by our butterfly bush.
My 6 year old%, hearing the assorted comments, held us mesmerized with her
wise observations. "The butterflies are like a family, they stay home with
their parents and eat and grow and change until one day they are ready to leave,
sometimes one of them comes back home to get something he needs and he flies
- Anne Marsden, Burlington, ONT, Canada
- A few weeks ago I headed off to Mississauga to help a friend through a
Court experience. I was delayed in traffic and could not understand why so many
monarch butterflies were crossing my van. One got killed by a car and it
reminded me of Diana. I phoned my friend on my cell phone to explain I was
stuck in traffic. I told her about the monarch butterflies and that I stopped
counting at 120. When I arrived Dawn showed me a jar almost full of dead
butterflies. That night I checked the English newspapers and saw that millions
of butterflies were invading England. I saw your web page and checked it out
only to find out butterflies appear in large numbers in times of tragedy and
triumph I was particularly pleased to hear the butterfly is symbolic of God's
God tends to encourage me through various kinds of symbolism. I think he
knew that I would find out that butterflies can mean victory. You see I am
running for Mayor right now and I am definitely the underdog. But I believe the
race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong from Ecclesiastes. I am
using butterflies in my campaign. My friend used the dead butterflies she found
in a picture which says Anne for Mayor for a change. Hopefully they are a sign
of triumph against the odds. I will let you know. Because of tragedies which
have impacted my life I am running as Mayor in my City.
- Kathryn Blake, Austin, TX, USA
- This past summer I was in a major accident and had to be rushed to the
hospital. I was scared to death. As the doctors pumped drugs into me and my
parents stood in the corner of the room crying, all wondering if I would make it
through, I looked on the back of the door of my room. Hanging there was a
picture of a butterfly. It looked so peaceful and beautiful. Just by staring
at the picture of that magnificent creature I knew I would be okay. Two days
later I came out of the hospital with no permanent damage, just a few scars.
But I had already decided that it was the beauty and hope that the butterfly had
given me that helped me live. So, I decided I never wanted to be without a
butterfly at any time. I had my friend who is an artist design for me a
butterfly and had it tattooed right over my scars from the accident! Now,
whenever I look in the mirror, I remember that butterflies are the symbol for
life and they helped save mine.
- Dora Lou Snider, Fritch, TX, USA
- My father died in the fall of 1985. He was such a special person to me and
my heart was so heavy. I needed some sign that everything was going to be
alright in my world. I was sitting on the front porch on a beautiful autumn
day praying and all of a sudden the most beautiful monarch butterfly flew to the
bush beside me and landed. It was so graceful, and suddenly I knew this was my
sign. It lingered on the leaves for ever so long as if to comfort me. I have
never forgotten that moment.
- Steven Chew, Sacramento, CA, USA
- Many years ago. I was only in grade school. The early 60's. A youth
group I was involved with took a one day field trip from the San Francisco Bay
area to south of Monterey. It was an hour and a half to two hour drive to the
coastal town of Pacific Grove. The purpose of the trip was to observe the
annual migration of the Monarch Butterfly back to this tiny town. I was most
impressed about the number of Monarchs that show up to town. I remember them
so thick on the trees that you could hardly see the tree. I've often wondered
why they migrate to one particular place at a specific time of year. I
understand that they still migrate back to Pacific Grove. It was this awe
inspiring experience that keeps me dreaming about returning to my place of
- Liana, Santa Clarita, CA, USA
- I have always had a strong connection towards butterflies. But it was not
until early this year that I truly realized how sacred they really are. I was
having a problem with my gallbladder and it had to be removed. The surgery left
me with scars that resembled butterflies flying. I was very upset to have so
many scars on my stomach. A few weeks later I was sitting near the park and I
saw this beautiful butterfly so I was following it to see where it would go. As
I was following the butterfly, about 5 minutes later, right where I was sitting,
a car crashed and I could have been killed. So I believe the butterfly in the
park and the butterfly scars on my stomach are a sign of life. I have now
tattooed butterflies where my scars are and it looks like 4 butterflies flying
- John F. Sorenson, Sacramento, CA, USA
- Several years past while I was doing research, I was in a place called
Hanging Valley in central Monterey county, CA The plant I was observing was a
Monardella species - a member of the mint family. I had picked a flower and was
holding it close to my face when an insect flew up to collect nectar from the
flower. The flower was about six inches from my face but the butterfly was not
in the least afraid of me. The body was about an inch long and the diameter of
a pencil, light tan in color with dark stripes across it's abdomen. The wings
were solid black and about an inch and a half long. It sounded like a
hummingbird as it hovered over the flower. It emptied most of the flowers
during the 5-6 minutes it was there. I was very surprised that it paid no
attention to me. I suppose it had no fear because it would see very few humans
and large animals as I was about 50 miles from the nearest town in very rugged
territory. I'm guessing it was a new form of hummingbird moth that I had never
seen although I am not an entomologist, so it's possible I'm wrong, but it was a
very enjoyable experience.
- Margaret Anderson, Bryan, TX, USA
- Within a few weeks of dating my now fiance, we found a fossil of a
butterfly on one of many walks around his parents' acreage. It has become one
of my most cherished possessions and he has nicknamed me "butterfly".
Since then, everyone I know has given me butterfly paraphernalia, from jewelry
to clothing and I love it. We hope to release butterflies at our wedding
ceremony to celebrate our love and my Native American ancestry.
- Tara, Atlanta, GA, USA
- I am a young woman who has gone through many hard and terrible things in
my life, but when things got really bad one day and I was about to just give up
on life . . . I decided to go to a beautiful field, away from the city, and just
think. As I was sitting there thinking and on my last leg of life, a beautiful
butterfly came near me and sat on a flower. I sat and watched the butterfly for
an hour and came to the conclusion that if a butterfly that goes through so many
changes in its life can just keep going from flower to flower and place to place
and still move through life by just a small flutter of its wings, then so can I.
Til this day whenever I get low in my life I think of this butterfly and all
the other butterflies in the world that keep going and going day by day.
Thanks for listening. In remembrance of that butterfly, I tattooed him on
me to make me remember to keep going.
- Lori Doggett, Oklahoma City, OK, USA
- The influence of butterflies on my life has been twofold. On April 19,
1995 I lost someone I love very much in the bombing here in Oklahoma City.
While I deeply grieve her loss and will desperately miss her always, still I
find hope when I see a butterfly because it reminds me that she is as they
are... her spirit is free and soaring in the heavens and that brings me comfort.
I am also an abuse and rape survivor and butterflies are so symbolic of hope to
me. My abuse has left me feeling like a caterpillar in a cocoon all of my life,
a cocoon others constructed around me. As I work through my past issues, I see
that like the butterfly, one day soon I will also emerge from my cocoon and have
wings to fly. To fly free of my past and into the light of the future. Thank
- Novi, MI, USA
- One afternoon in 1984, my husband and I were walking through our garden
when a very large butterfly suddenly landed on my shoulder. We weren't sure if
it was a true butterfly or a giant moth but it had a wing span that filled my
husband's entire hand. When we tried to put it down on a plant, it slowly
returned to my shoulder. It almost seemed as if it were too heavy to fly. When
it finally left our presence, I noticed it had left a soft luminescence on my
husband's hand. We never saw that beautiful butterfly again until 1994. I of
course can't say it was the same one, but it certainly left me with the same
feeling of hope and love. There is one thing I truly know for sure. Of all the
creatures God has allowed me to see, the butterfly is the most inspirational.
- Cathy Tallen, Cincinnati, OH, USA
- My Dad was in the hospital in July 1990. As I sat near him, he reached out
toward my face and I instinctively pulled back. He had only been attempting to
lovingly brush a strand of hair away. Less than an hour later, he was dead. I
had many regrets about our relationship but there was much good to remember
also. I regretted most that I had pulled away from his gesture of love and
wished I had the opportunity to do it over and let him know how much he had
meant to me. After he died I went to the park and walked the trails and
thought of him. One morning a small black butterfly flew alongside me, behind
me, in front of me. It stayed with me for what seemed like 10-15 minutes and I
had a sense it represented my Dad. That night when I went to work, I wore the
blue cardigan I had given my Dad the past Father's Day. It had been freshly
laundered using dry bleach. As I walked down the hospital corridor during my
shift another nurse called out, "Cathy, you have a bleach mark on the back
of your sweater. It looks like a butterfly." It did . . . and it does. I
haven't worn the sweater since, but I keep and cherish it as a sign that my
Dad knows I love him
- Lesley, Boise, ID, USA
- Since I was a child I have had a recurring dream about a big beautiful
purple butterfly. The dream is just me chasing this gorgeous thing around a
field. Sounds silly, I know. But it is the most peaceful dream, and I always
feel like a million bucks when I wake up. I love butterflies. In fact I
collect them. I have a room set up just for all my butterfly collectables. I
have so many I have to have a spare room for them all. I've even gone as far
as getting tattoos of them, even the one in my dream. To me they are the
ultimate symbol for freedom and beauty, and that is how that dream has always
made me feel ... free!
- Veann Shea, Lakeland, FL, USA
- I have had nothing but joy from my butterflies - Monarchs, Sulfur, Large
Swallowtail, and many more. I feel that I have at least 50 or more a day in my
garden. I raise my caterpillars from butterfly bush and milkweed and dill.
Once they are large enough I put them in my aquarium with their food. Soon they
become these lovely creatures that are set free.
- Harlen E. Aschen, Victoria, TX, USA
- I am the middle school science teacher at Victoria Christian School,
Victoria, TX.. My wife and I have been doing some extensive re-landscaping of
our back garden in Port Lavaca with mostly native Texas plants since '95. We
live in Port Lavaca, Texas - the mid-coast of Texas. In our scheme of things we
have over 200 container plants and have planted with hummingbirds and
butterflies as the key, extra reward. We have included two small ponds - one 50
gallons and one 300 gallons. Last year the 4th graders at VCS under the
guidance of their science teachers Mrs Datz and Mrs McKelvey raised Painted
Ladies and released them. They are doing the same this year. Mrs Aschen and I
were able to bring them 20 of the Queen butterfly caterpillars that we found on
our butterfly weeds (milkweed). About half survived and were released as
butterflies. Yesterday, Sept 20 97, we found three horned caterpillars
(gray-brown with 7 pairs of black and white false eyes) on penta bushes and are
taking to school to see what moth will develop. We have identified 23 different
butterflies in our yard since the Fall of '96. Now I enjoy going out with video
camera when they will pose and then can share with the students. Last Saturday
a zebra swallowtail stayed for an hour around our fence of wild morning glories.
I was able to get some close-up video. In class we watched how the pairs of
wings performed differently. I hope and pray this is a never-ending story ...
for each generation.
- June Milam, Fort Myers, FL, USA
- My Mom passed away in March of 1995 and I was left to care for my Dad. I
had already arranged to go to Alaska for ten days and could not change those
plans. The day after my Mom died I saw a white butterfly out in my woods
fluttering nearby and it even touched me on my face as it was flying.
Immediately I knew it was my Mom telling me she was OK and with God. I saw the
white butterfly several times in the next few weeks until I left for Alaska.
When I was in Juneau I opted to go to Taku Lodge for the day on a float
plane. The Island was still covered in snow and it was even snowing the day I
was there. There were beautiful hummingbirds all over the place and to my real
surprise a white butterfly. I have seen the white butterfly several times since
then and I know it is my Mom's spirit. God Bless...
- Marc Mannheimer, Bradford, MA, USA
- Yesterday, Sunday, August 17th, my wife and I were in our backyard viewing
our various plantings about 2:00 pm . We saw a butterfly circle about.
Suddenly, it landed on my wife's shoulder. She flinched and it took off, but
returned quickly and landed on her hip. I approached it, extending my hand.
When I gently placed my index finger in front of it (like one would do for a
bird), it jumped on. I then brought it close to view it. It gently opened and
closed its wings and looked at me. My wife and I looked closely at it for a
number of minutes. I thought it might be thirsty and so I took it over to a
bird bath and gently set it down on a rock. I touched the water with my finger
and offered it to the Butterfly. It wasn't interested. It then again jumped
on my finger and we continued to walk about. It then took off. We walked up on
our deck and the butterfly followed and landed on the rail. When I put my
finger in front of it again it jumped on once more. After a few more minutes it
This experience seemed rare and unusual to us. Is it? We researched and
have decided this was a Satyr Comma (Polygonia Satyrus). Apparently a bit
farther south than usually found.
- Gin Gardner, TN, USA
- I attend an Episcopalian church retreat called "Happening". The
mascot of Happening is a butterfly. I have come to see butterflies as a symbol
of God for me. Every time I see a butterfly I remember that God loves me.
- Alan Dunham, Ware, MA, USA
- Perhaps this story is beginning. I visited the Butterfly Conservatory at
the Botanical Gardens in Niagara Falls, Ontario just a few days go. It has
brought me here and, hopefully, other places where butterflies are welcome. My
interest in butterflies was stimulated by the creatures just being themselves in
the conservatory. This is a story that will be continued as I learn more about
- Laura Kelly
- I would like to submit my story about a Monarch butterfly named "Maggie".
I once found a Monarch butterfly in my garden. She had a frayed wing and
the other wing had a hole in it. When she tried to fly she wobbled. I brought
her in and checked her out. Since she couldn't fly I put her in a big antique
bowl with lots of flowers. She perched herself on the flowers and stayed there.
As the weeks and months went by she would sit on my shoulder while I worked at
my desk or when I was reading. She would drink watered down syrup from the palm
of my hand. Some times while she sat on my shoulder she would put her proboscis
down and she would keep doing this until I noticed her. This was her way of
letting me know she wanted a drink. I would get the syrup mixture for her and
she'd drink it up.
I had "Maggie" for about two years. When she died I thought she
had lived her life and it was time for her to leave. I really miss her. If
someone had told me how a butterfly could touch your life like that, I wouldn't
have believed them. But that was before I met "Maggie the Monarch. I have
her mounted and in a gold frame that graces my study. I will never forget her.
- Susan Cortright, Venice, FL, USA
- I noticed eggs on my milkweed and after two tiny caterpillars were ripped
of their chance to live I decided to try and raise one in a jar. It was so neat
to watch the monarch caterpillar grow and eat, grow and eat. Then just
yesterday morn, it spun its silky web and is now hanging from the inside lid. I
plan to expand and buy a bigger container because the ants are having a field
day with my baby caterpillars. (Sad ) It is very exciting to know the cycle of
life is taking place.
- Susan Batterman, Metamora, IL, USA
- In my third grade classroom at Germantown Hills Elementary School, I have
two pets which are one baby monarch butterfly and one adult monarch butterfly.
The adult butterfly is formed into a "J" and is about to spin its
pupa. That's all for now. More later.
- Lorraine Jeter, Marietta, GA, USA
- In 1991 I attended a very special retreat that focused on the outpouring
of God's love. Butterflies were used to show how we change when we have God's
love inside us. Now whenever I see a butterfly I think of 2 Corinthians 5:
Therefore, if anyone be in Christ, he is a new creation ... It was a life
changing experience for me and now I collect butterflies and think of how God
through His gift of Jesus Christ caused me to change from the creature that I
was to a new creation that I now am. Old things are passed, all things become
- Cheryl Piemonte, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
- I went to Butterfly World up in Pompano about three years ago. I was
hooked on Butterflies. I went to every workshop that they had to learn about
the flowers and larvae plants that the butterflies in South Florida would thrive
on. Since then, I have flowers all around my home and of course, lots of
butterflies. I bought one-gallon aquariums and started larvae hunting on a
daily basis. I would keep the larvae in the house and would keep them supplied
with their specific larvae food until they turned into a cocoon. I would then
wait until they emerged and would set them free.
This has been a totally awesome experience for not only me, but also my
grandson who at the time was two. He would help to let the butterflies go. We
both loved it. I have helped to raise polydamas , black Swallowtails, Monarchs,
Sulfurs from small to giant, Gulf Fritillaries, Julias, and of course Zebras. I
see at least 20 butterflies in my yard on a daily basis. I feel that I have
contributed to helping the butterflies survive so that my grandchildren will be
able to see them too.
- Becky Foley, Shelbyville, KY, USA
- I have always taken inspiration from butterflies, and am always on the
lookout for one of these beautiful creatures. My life has been blessed more than
once by a butterfly, and one day this summer, my life was blessed by two. I was
walking along on one of those dreary-mooded days. I was sort of in my own world
with my thoughts and contemplations. I happened to look up just as two bright
butterflies crossed their paths directly in front of me. I had to smile. It is
said that a black cat crossing one's path brings bad luck, but I am convinced
that a butterfly passing one's path brings the best luck to be found. If only
the world would learn of the freedom and beauty a simple butterfly has to offer.
- Christine Penrod
- Yes, I have the most moving story to tell you about my beautiful Nicole
whom I lost on the l8th of May, l997. Someone sent me the address of your
website.. I was so happy to see it ... I will visit it with my butterfly
Nicole in a few days when I collect my thoughts together... I know it takes a
lot of butterflies to create flowers... Nicole's mom, Christine....P.S. Nicole
was eighteen years old ... I'll be back in a few days.
- Amy Burford, Oscoda, MI, USA
- My butterfly story begins on magical Mackinac Island, Michigan in 1995.
There is a butterfly house on the island that has many species of butterflies.
My husband and children and I went into the butterfly house. It is mostly a
greenhouse that houses all the butterfly-attracting plants one could imagine.
It is a very bright place and classical music plays as you travel through the
house looking at the different stages of development of the butterfly.
I had used tropical hair spray that day before leaving for the island and a
butterfly liked what he tasted as he sat on my head .... for 15 minutes! We
couldn't leave until it was off of my head.. My family and I will never forget
that trip to the butterfly house on Mackinac Island.
- This event occurred about 30 years ago and yet it is still fresh in my
mind. My brother was about 9 and I was around 10 years old. Being a boy, he
loved to collect all sorts of bugs and put them in jars with lids that had a few
holes punched in them. Many of these bugs simply did not live, as you can
imagine. On this one particular day he caught a beautiful butterfly (I
remember it being a Monarch, but truthfully don't know exactly what it was).
He and I sat on the steps of our family home and stared and stared at this
little beauty. I am not sure what it was but something inside my brother made
him stand up, open the lid and set the butterfly free. It floated around for a
few minutes and then flew back towards my brother and landed on his cheek where
it stayed for several minutes. He was walking around the garden and showing
people this little butterfly who was resting on his cheek. It was as though
the butterfly was saying to my brother, "thanks for setting me free my
And that is MY butterfly story that enriched my life.
- Debra Clark
- "My academically talented class of fifth graders was doing research in
a local cemetery. We brought along our recently hatched Monarch butterfly to
release in the cemetery, thinking it fitting that among all the reminders of the
dead, we would bring a beautiful sign of life. After spending a few hours
recording data, we turned to release our butterfly and watch her fly away. Once
released, however, she flew straight to my mother's silver-haired head, where
she was content to remain! We gently retrieved her from my mother's head, set
her off again, and once more she made a beeline for my bewildered, and yet
honored, mother! On the third try we set her in some bushes and fondly said our
- Marla Wilkie, Olympia, WA USA
- This is from the introduction of a short book my mother self-published in
autumn of 1997. The book is called "Wings for Faith."
- Inspiration for this story was in fact a real butterfly my son, Zach,
brought home one day in early May of 1992. My daughter, Heather, came running
into my bedroom where I was napping and awakened me. She informed me Zach had
found a butterfly while walking home and had reached down to pick it up,
expecting it to fly away. Instead it had allowed him to carry it at least 1/2
mile and bring it right into our home and place it on his brother Levi's
shoulder. This is where I first saw Faith: perched on Levi's shoulder gently
moving her wings up, then down, and up again. We were all amazed. I had never
heard of such a thing: a butterfly resting peacefully on someone's shoulder.
My first thought was this truly is a miracle, a sign from God. Something in my
spirit was deeply touched. I asked the Lord what this sign meant. I was a
single parent at this time and struggling to raise my children by myself. I
longed for a father figure for my children and a helpmate for myself. The next
day I went off to a solitary place and the rough draft for this book was given
to me by the Holy Spirit while I sat in the back of my van. I was overwhelmed
by all the scriptures that just popped into my head. Over the years when times
of stress came raising the children or as the Lord stretched me in my spiritual
walk; I would be inspired, transformed, and blessed when I would seek
encouragement from the story of Faith. God did bring a miracle into our lives
that spring. I began dating a man from my church and on June 19, 1993, Steve
and I were married. My prayer is that you too will be transformed by the Word
of God. email@example.com
- New Hope, PA
- One summer evening I was at home alone in a woodsy area outside of New Hope
Pa. The sky was a dark velvet gray-black in my country setting with no houses or
street lamps nearby. The moon cast a faint wash of light over the scene. I
heard a batting on the screen door and went to look, and there I saw the biggest
butterfly I had ever seen. It was about as big as my whole hand, a pale,
ghostly mint green in color, and had two large spots, one on each wing, which
looked like eyes looking at me. Closer inspection revealed golden, feathery
antennae on the butterfly's head. It was easily the most beautiful living thing
I'd ever seen. The butterfly settled down on the screen, where it stayed for a
long time. I found myself totally entranced by it; it seemed like a messenger
too important to ignore. I forgot whatever busyness I had been doing, and
settled down myself to watch it. I must have watched it for about 45 minutes,
just enjoying the color of it and the unexpectedness of its visit. I felt
vaguely blessed by its appearance and its willingness to stay so long in one
place so that I could appreciate it. It was like a vivid dream; I wanted to
keep it with me and savor it. Yet I know the butterfly was real. The feeling of
being blessed has stayed with me. I found picture of a similar butterfly in a
nature calendar and cut it out to remind me of my encounter. Whenever I look at
the picture, I can remember how it was to be still, to fully appreciate that
unexpected moment when my connection to the universe, and the universe's
connection to me, was strong and whole.
- Ralph Swem
- This is really my good friend's story. But I will never look at a
butterfly again without thinking of it. A month ago my friend had surgery, came
through it fine but after she got back to her room her heart stopped beating for
3 to 4 minutes. She was dead. God gave her back her life. It was very
possible that even though she would be alive she would have massive brain
damage. But God is VERY good. With therapy she is now almost 100% better. But
the medication she is on causes her to see things. Not ugly creepy things. But
beautiful things like colored butterflies. Her whole world was covered in blue,
pink, yellow, and green butterflies. They are nearly gone now only a few
remain. Now butterflies will always be a reminder of God's miracles.
- My dear father had died in March 1984. Still mourning in May, I went
outside with my Bible Devotional book, hoping that when I read it I would be
comforted by its uplifting words. I also thought spending some time in my sunny
garden would lift my spirits. So, there I sat reading, with my book on my lap.
As I started to turn the page, a Painted Lady butterfly alighted on my index
finger! It did not seem to mind when I continued to turn the page (I was in
disbelief!) so it remained with me for a few glorious moments before traveling
down my finger, then across the devotional, and upwards into the sky. At that
moment I thought of my father and wondered if this was the Lord's way of
comforting me with a most surprising, and pleasant visit from one of His own
creations. Now, I can't think of, speak about, or see a butterfly without also
thinking of my father. And since I am the Director of the Butterfly Garden at
our children's school, I think of him often, with warmth and comfort from that
sunny day, when a miracle came into my garden! God bless you all.
- Dave Benkendorf
- This is about my grandfather's death, and how these beautiful creatures
help me to overcome it. I have a very interesting story to tell. Okay, a year
ago to be exact, like I told you, my grandfather died. I decided that if I chose
a hobby to stop me of thinking of it that it would be a lot easier to deal with.
So I chose butterflies because they are so beautiful and graceful. It may sound
corny, but it actually worked. These amazing creatures helped me to deal with
the loss of my grandfather. I am eleven years old.
- Betsy Bridgers - Smithfield, CN USA
- Two years ago in the spring we started a butterfly garden on our campus at
our school. We are a primary K-2 school. When we returned in the fall, our
garden was rampant with black swallowtail and monarch caterpillars. Our
children have been able to see the majestic metamorphosis of these beautiful
creatures. It is so much fun to see the butterflies change and float through
the air to feed on the flowers in the courtyard.
- Starrie Evans
- Finals, term papers and stressful decisions flooded my mind as I walked
through my university campus to my next exam. Did I have what it takes to be a
college student? Would I fail all my finals? Did I even like my major? I
walked in a daze, a web of thoughts filling my mind. I was in a fragile state.
I needed a boost - something to cheer me up. In the corner of my eye I could
see it fluttering towards me. Hues of purple, blue and gold covering its wings.
The butterfly drifted past me slowly hopping through the air. Then it was
gone. I felt better - calmer, more stable and sure of myself than before. The
butterfly helped me. Seeing it helped me because I saw something good - its
beauty. Maybe this story sounds a bit corny, but it has a happy ending...I aced