“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Dance of the Butterflies

The white buddleia bush in our back garden is alive with butterflies - cabbage whites, peacocks, red admirals and others I cannot name. They spend the hours of sunlight swirling and diving around the bush, feeding ecstatically on the white flowers. It is a wonderful sight.

Cover Photo
(photo: Maz Woolley)

Every year, for a few short weeks, this beautiful visitation happens. This morning, I was doing the washing up, gazing through the kitchen window at the butterflies' graceful dance, and wondering why they like the buddleia so much. I know that it is nicknamed "the butterfly bush", so I googled the question and found:

"They love Buddleia because it produces nectar that has a higher content of sucrose, glucose, and fructose than many other garden flowers; in particular Buddleia generally has a higher sucrose level (two or three times higher than fructose or glucose) and that is what attracts butterflies. However, Buddleia do not produce much nectar, which is why we see butterflies spending so much time on a particular plant. It is also worth mentioning that usually only the larger butterflies visit Buddleia, this is because the tiny individual flowers of Buddleia are relatively long and the smaller butterflies simply can't reach their proboscis far enough into the flower to extract the sucrose laden nectar." (from the Buddleia.net website)

So butterflies are sugar junkies, and love the buddleia because it produces sugar-rich nectar. I am so glad that it does, because their beautiful dance lifts my heart, and makes me rejoice to be in the world.

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