I’m a completely different being now! Yet, I still remember my caterpillar life. These memories allow me to take the lessons I’ve learned from one life into another. They help me to know that even though we might be much different from one another, we really are all one.
May I tell you about some of my favorite parts in this butterfly body?
I love my eyes. Especially now that I have so many of them! Each of my big eyes holds thousands of little simple eyes. These small eyes are in the shape of hexagons and look like finely cut gems. And each one of these thousands of eyes can be directed any way I choose! Up, down, backwards, forwards, to the left, to the right and everything in between. I can see in every direction!
I see where I am going. I see where I’ve been. And I see the world around me. All of this – and at the same time!
My antennae give me balance, something every being needs. Without balance, I’d be tossed about on every little breeze; I wouldn’t be able to perch on a flower petal or sleep on the bark of a tree. And because I have such fragile wings, it is easy for them to be damaged. Yet because of my antennae, I can fly and navigate between the flowers.
My antennae, along with my feet and my abdomen, allow me to smell. There are such sweet perfumes we have in this world! In fact, we lady butterflies make our own perfume called “pheromones.” Male butterflies love our scent. Some male butterflies can smell our perfume from up to a mile away. (By the way, those beautiful male butterflies also make pheromones and they also smell very nice!)
I don’t have ears like you, but I do have some really nice membranes that can sense sound. These membranes are like little drums along the middle part of my body. When a sound touches me, I can sense where it is coming from and how far it is away from me. This can be very helpful when a bat is trying to make a dinner out of me! When a bat comes along, I can fly in a zigzag pattern in order to escape.
How many people do you know who can taste with their legs? That’s what female butterflies do. YUM!!! We have spines on the underside of our front legs so that we can scratch the leaves, the stems and the flowers to get a taste of what we’re walking on. This is extremely helpful in selecting just the right spot to lay our eggs. Since each type of caterpillar can only eat one or two kinds of plants, we need to make sure we get our eggs on just the right plant!
My glorious wings are strong enough to carry me from one flower to another and some of my kind can even fly for thousands as miles. But I couldn’t do that right away. When I emerged from my chrysalis, my wings were crinkled and sopping wet. I hung upside-down so that my blood would pump into my wings. Only until my wings dried out was I able to fly.
Now I have four wings, two forewings and two hindwings. With these wings, my brother and sister butterflies and I can fly from 5 to 30 miles per hour. (The average running speed for humans is 15 miles per hour.)
And my colors! Pretty amazing, huh? My wings look as if they are covered in dust, but it’s actually tiny colored scales. These are placed upon my wings in a pattern like tiles on a roof. How the light catches my scales determines much of the brilliant colors you see.
Would you like to hear what the sound of butterfly wings? Click here.
Thank you for visiting all of my lives. Each one has been a blessing, as are each of yours!