‘Flutterbys’ in flight delight

The winged steeds of the gods are busy these warm summer days, flying over their summer gardens silently savoring and inspecting the progress of their private world of perfumed beauty, dozing upon the sun-painted flowery cushions, pausing to sip the nectars brewing in the mysterious distilleries of sun and rain.

Some of our younger children first know these finely scaled winged gems as “Flutterbys.” Students quickly learn of the scientific world classing butterflies and moths as Lepidoptera. They are distinguished as insects in which the adult phase develops from egg to plant-eating worm to cocoon, then morphs into a handsome winged creature, equipped with long antennae.

The butterflies’ scales form rainbows of identifying colors, brilliant Monarchs and Baltimores, mingling with Golden Sulpher and others, give basis for the claim that 177 species were identified and reported being seen in North Carolina this past year, confirming their qualifications to bear the royal scepter anointing them as favorite messengers of the gods, standing guard over the quilt of summer’s gems as they flit lightly through nature’s gardens.