Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I ♥️ Butterflies πŸ¦‹

I have always loved butterflies and frankly, there is a small one in flight tattooed on my right ankle. It serves as a pretty jewelry-like reminder of how special these 'flying flowers' are.
“Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued is always beyond our grasp, 
but if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”
~Nathaniel Hawthorne~
I have a few reference books on butterfly and caterpillar ID but when I was asked to review the book below on Butterflies, I was only too happy to do so.
As you can see by the cover, the author is Erin Gettler, a naturalist, writer, photographer and artist. A number of the photos in the book are her own.
There is an excellent 'Butterflies by Region' chart at the front of the book and thinking it would cover north America as I live in Ontario, Canada I was disappointed that the chart is for the US with a column for western provinces combined with Alaska. 
Colour photos feature specific butterflies and an occasional caterpillar instar stage. What was missing was an open wing, as well as closed wing photo for each butterfly to make identification easier. A written 'how do I identify' section was helpful but in the field most people would want a quick referral to photos. 
 From my files - Monarch (female)...
and a Viceroy. Similar but distinctive markings to tell them apart. 
From my files - If you look carefully at the eyes on the bottom of the partially opened wing you'll see four eyes that tell me this is a Painted Lady.
In a closed wing shot you can see the two eyes that tell this is an American Lady.
In the book host (for eggs and caterpillars) plants and nectar suggestions are listed under the section 'how to attract them'. A good example from my garden is the host plant pearly everlasting which American Lady butterflies reliably lay eggs on every spring. Above you can see in the top left the webbing and caterpillar frass on the plant identifying an egg has hatched. In the centre is the last instar stage of the caterpillar before it forms a chrysalis (bottom left).
The 'where to find them' section describes the habitat preferred by each butterfly and for the American Lady sunny natural spaces like meadows and roadsides are recommended.
Under 'lifecycle', generations, general caterpillar info and migration is covered. 
Overall the book is a fairly good guide but not for the experienced butterfly enthusiast. I feel the Latin name for each species could have been included as various regions call butterflies by different names which is true of flowers as well.
The book will be a great starter ID that I'll give my grandchildren and if they should want to become more involved, I have other books to recommend. 
The opinions in this review are solely my own and I thank Cool Springs Press for the opportunity to share my thoughts.


  1. Love butterflies too!Beautiful post!

  2. A nice, fair, honest review. I probably should start with a simple book like this as, beyond being able to identify a monarch butterfly, I am. clueless. (Hi, Judith, it's nice to see you!)

  3. I love butterflies also and get excited when I see the first one of the season

  4. O thank you. I love your review and the photos! I have seen only citroenvlinders this year (Gonepteryx rhamni).

  5. What a good book for butterfly spotting!

  6. A good and honest review, Judith. I love butterflies, but I'm seeing fewer of them each year it seems.

  7. Around here, every black and orange butterfly gets labeled as a monarch and it's of no use to argue. I should look for this book or something similar. Thank you for the info,

  8. Love seeing butterflies in the garden. When looking for field guides to purchase I always check to see if Canada is covered, if not I don't buy them and don't even borrow them from the library.

  9. I've identified a few I've seen lately. It looks like a good resource.

  10. What a great post Judith on butterflies. Aren't they beautiful creations? Looks like a great book too. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  11. Butterflies are beautiful aren't they.
    Interesting to read your review and I thoroughly enjoyed the photographs.

    All the best Jan

  12. How delightful the world of butterflies is! We have lots of butterflies, and my children and I spend lots of time just watching them flutter about the flowers and yard. They never fail to stop us in our tracks on walks and wait for them to go on their way.

  13. Who doesn't love butterflies, Judith? We don't see as many butterflies as we should here. I am not sure why. I usually see one monarch flit through the garden in late summer. We do see the tiger swallowtail and some painted ladies and cabbage butterflies, but not the wide variety that we used to. The black swallowtail the fed on the dill and zinnias hasn't been around for a couple of summers either, so I very much enjoyed your post.

  14. I love watching the butterflies on our butterfly bushes!

    Thanks for the review!

  15. What a beautiful book! I love seeing the butterflies here in Florida but have trouble trying to photograph them. Would love to learn more of the names too! Hugs to you Sis, Diane

  16. First of all....I am surprised to hear you have a tattoo, Judith!! lol. I have one too!! LOVED reading that about you!!
    I just love seeing butterflies in the gardens! My granddaughters are delighted when they see them light on the coneflowers. The images you showed are beautiful! You are so informed about all things pertaining to gardens...you really amaze me.
    Happy July!

  17. It looks like a great book and with your love of butterflies, and example, I can imagine your grand children will follow your interest in them!

  18. Very cool butterfly shots! I think your love of butterflies has rubbed off on me because I recently purchased a cardigan with butterflies on it!

  19. I love watching butterflies in my garden. I want to pay more attention to specific types. A guide would be a good start!

  20. Wonderful butterfly photos, Judith!
    We don't perhaps have many good plants to attract butterflies, but I'm happy to notice that we have many, many plants for bumblebees.
    The book is definitely very interesting, even though some parts of it could have been put together differently.
    Y o u have a tattoo?? How cool is that! :)

  21. I always stop and watch a butterfly when it flits gracefully through our yard. They are beautiful and I can't help but look at them with wonder! Nature does that to me. Sometimes I feel it brings out the child in me. The other evening I was watching fireflies in the bushes. God created such a beautiful world for us and I'm thankful that I know and recognize it is His hand in it all. Happy Canada Day weekend, Judith!


  22. What a perfect book for you to review, Judith, and I thank your honest review. Aren't we in awe at the beauty and intricate markings of butterflies and flowers that God created for us to enjoy?I wish I could see your tiny butterfly tattoo!! Happy Canada Day weekend, my friend!

  23. Dear Judith,
    I love to see the beautiful book cover you have shown us.How elegant those butterflies are!I am sure I will pay more attention to small visitors(butterfly) in my garden. I have learned so many things about your gardens, flowers, birds and of course tea sets.
    Many thanks. I am going to miss your blog. Have a wonderful day.

    I returned from Tokyo.

  24. What a great blog post Judith, I learned a lot about butterflies, and how to recognize them in your post and pictures. They are such beautiful creatures, I love to see them gracing my garden. I have planted several butterfly bushes for them to enjoy. Many hugs to you today :)

  25. Your photos are amazing and your tips quite helpful. (More so than the book, it sounds like!)

  26. I enjoy watching Butterflies too, each year my husband and I visit the Butterfly Garden in Orlando at Epcot, its a real treat to see them upclose. Truly beautiful. Thanks for sharing

  27. I am impressed by your knowledge and study of butterflies. I have always lumped many similar butterflies together as 'Monarch' butterflies but I see I need to examine their wings more closely to determine the type of butterfly I am watching.

    Butterflies always make me happy when I see them flitting from flower to flower, and I am always reminded of what my daughter called them when she was a toddler , " flutter-bys".

    I see I may need to invest in a good butterfly book soon !

  28. We've just done a butterfly count and even with a sheet provided of common butterflies in the country it was tricky trying to work out whether we'd seen a Common Blue or not! This book looks wonderful, love your description of butterflies as flying flowers!
    Wren x

  29. I'm always in awe when a butterfly flies by, they are all so beautiful. It's always interesting to see one you've never seen before.

  30. Such pretty butterfly photos!! Thanks for sharing them. My husband and I were riding our bikes today and we saw so many butterflies on our ride. We are seeing all yellow ones latey too. Butterflies are so calming to watch.

  31. Dear Judith,
    Having just read your Autumn Farewell post ... I just wanted to say my thanks to you.
    I have always enjoyed my visits to your blog.
    Sending my good wishes to you and yours for the months and years ahead.
    Take Care

    All the best Jan


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