Gift #615: First Butterfly

A miraculous event occurred at the start of Easter week – and that was seeing my first butterfly of the season.

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I saw her (or him) out next to the hellebores late in the afternoon once I was home from work.  I had gone to visit with the hellebores and make sure they were ok, and there was this lovely butterfly out sunning her wings.  They were glossy and shiny, like she was wearing sheets of mica over her wings.

I believe the little beauty is a mourning cloak butterfly.  Which seems an odd name for such a lovely creature.  Perhaps it is so named because the wings are a dark brown and that reminded people of mourning clothes.  However, she was a sign of great jubilation to me as her arrival meant spring was on the move.  And I thought it appropriate that she should come on Easter week as a reminder of the new life that we celebrate.

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I just read that mourning cloaks are one of the first butterflies to emerge in the spring because they overwinter in their adult form via cryo-preservation!  So the little creatures freeze over in their shelters during the winter months and re-emerge as good as new when the weather warms.  Unlike other butterflies that drink nectar from flowers, these butterflies drink tree sap, which flows readily in early spring, and then lay their eggs on the host tree.  What an amazing little miracle they are!

Blessings to you,

Sarah

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