Friday, July 9, 2010


I was recently given a field guide for the Eastern forest by my good friend Tim Hartigan. There are lots of interesting facts in it. We look at butterflies and are impressed by their bold colors. These colors appear to contradict what we've previously learned about things blending in to avoid predators. A hungry bird, for example can spot a butterfly lazily flying from a great distance, but that's the idea.

Butterflies are able to store poisonous glycosides, which they extract from milkweed plants. Cattle are known to get sick from eating these plants but for some unknown reason, butterflies do not. Birds do, in fact, attack butterflies. However, they get nauseous from eating the insects (and the glycosides they carry). The bright colors of a butterfly therefore, serve as a reminder to the birds. They say: Remember when you ate my cousin and puked your guts out for three days? Not so hungry anymore. Are you? It's kind of like when humans see a bottle of Jack Daniels and remember a night from long ago and abruptly order a soft drink. I filmed this butterfly yesterday along Fuhrman Boulevard. It looks like it could be a red-spotted purple butterfly, but I'm not positive:

Thank God my music's still alive...

No comments:

Post a Comment