Butterflies are often beautiful. Flowers are often beautiful. When both are together, as often happens, the level of beauty increases exponentially through some form of natural world legerdemain. It is impossible to figure out exactly how it happens because it seems like natural beauty would have additive or at most multiplicative powers when combined with more natural beauty, but it is also unnecessary to figure it out. All we need to do is enjoy pretty flowers and butterflies and leave the math to others.
That is what we did on a recent visit to the New York Botanic Gardens in the Bronx, a place where the exponential forces of natural world beauty often threaten to overwhelm the senses. Flowers, trees, and landscape all combine to force the forgetting that New York City is all around. Especially when an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Papilio glaucous is feeding on some absolutely gorgeous flowers. The beauty level was so high that I could barely even take pictures and I completely forgot to get the name of the flowers. But you know a butterfly-flower combination is something impressive when two kids with a combined age of less then five are both staring intently and quietly. See for yourself below – and the first and third images have larger versions available if you click them.
A half-male, half-female butterfly has hatched at London’s Natural History Museum.
A truely beautiful combination