Thursday, July 26, 2012

Butterflies and Fairies

Have you ever wondered how the myth of fairies got started?  I can't say that I had...until a few days ago when I was editing some photos from early July and came across a series I had taken of a painted lady (Vanessa cardui) nectaring on Baldwin's ironweed (Vernonia baldwinii).  

As I watched the butterfly slowly pirouette and twirl from photo to photo, slipping its proboscis in and out of the different blooms, I started thinking how cool it would be to daintily walk across the surface of a flower without bending a petal, to sip from the deep throat of a blossom.

The wings of the butterfly opened and closed in successive shots...and suddenly I began wondering if butterflies weren't the original inspiration for fairies, with their bright colors, their wings, their big eyes, their small size.

Of course I'll never know - but I can sure have my suspicions!


Andrea said...

Hi Gaia Gardener, i am tempted to call you Gaia! That violet flower, is that the Joe Pye? We don't have that but we have the fairies :) Kidding aside, i have a friend who is a 'sensitive', she can tune in to the dimensions most of us don't. It is just like tuning in to a TV channel, in her case she has them altogether without the remote control. She can even smell their scent. I can feel presence, but i don't see!

Ruth said...

What a lovely thought. It makes total sense to me.

Indie said...

It makes sense - there's something about butterflies and gardens (and flight in general, I think) that captures the imagination. Pretty pictures!

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Butterflies are sure fun to watch. I think equating them to fairies is perfect!

Gaia Gardener: said...

Kalantikan (Andrea, right?), The flowers here are ironweed. Joe pye weed blooms at about the same time and is also purple, but the color of Joe pye weed is a much softer purple, almost a pink. Joe pye weed tends to get taller and grow in wetter areas; ironweed tends to grow in very dry, open sites.