When I first started my post about Learn About Butterflies Day, I did a bunch of research about butterflies so I could share some of the interesting information that I’d learned. However, as I thought about the information I was typing, I also thought about how I got this information. And I got it the same way you could. I typed ‘butterflies’ into google and hit enter.
It got me thinking about my childhood, which I still don’t think is that long ago even if my younger coworkers seem to think otherwise (yes, Buna, Becca, I’m referring to you). When I was in elementary school, we’d go marching down the library in single file and go to the card catalog and find what Dewey Decimal Classification was associated with ‘Butterflies’. The very act of walking to a section of the building dedicated to books seemed build a sense of curiosity.
Thinking about elementary school reminded me of the day, in 4th grade, when we were going to learn about butterflies by making our own from a butterfly shape on ditto paper. The teacher put a couple of books out for us to use for reference and a smattering of art supplies. Crayons, markers (that were the worst, and I bet she used her own money to buy them, teachers need better pay), and pastels! I had access to professional grade pastels at home and was very comfortable with them. I saw an image of what I now believe was an Emerald Swallowtail Butterfly and new exactly what I was going to do. I colored and colored with green and black on the page, I went outside the lines (we were going to cut them out anyway), and blended and smudged. Generally I made what looked like a big mess to everyone else. It didn't take long for my fellow the students to tell the teacher who stood over my desk and made tut-tutting sounds. I kept going because I knew what I wanted. I put white markings on it and then cut it out and it looked quite snazzy if you ask me. When seeing the final result, the class felt the same way. What I’m trying to say here is that with information so readily available, it takes genuine curiosity to learn. Granted, in my case, I was learning that blending cheap black and green pastels yielded pleasing results.
Which was great because I ended up attending art school (where we also went to the library to get books) and eventually came to work here at Premier making butterfly kites and spinners and more. And having a great time doing it!
The illustration portion of our work in the design department at Premier requires research. We research what is the most popular bird when making bird spinners, we research the most popular butterfly, when making butterfly spinners. Invariably, we learn about our subject matter, like learning that loons do not have spots in the winter, which would be very important to a loon enthusiast. Brightly spotted loons swimming in a lake surrounded by snow would not make for a very accurate flag design. Therefore, I know how easy it is to do a little bit of internet research. It just takes a will to do it.
There are so many ways to learn about butterflies these day; you have access to most of the information right in front of you right now. If you live near me you can celebrate Learn About Butterflies Day by going to the Museum of Natural History. If you don't and you realize you need to get out of the house, visit your local library. Whatever you do, be curious. Maybe I can get congress to change it to National Curiosity About Butterflies Day!
- The iridescent colors in the wings are from a reflective microstructure. . .which just sounds amazing. I wish I had some reflective microstructures.
- When butterflies need to sleep or when it is raining they will hang on the underside of a leaf. I tried to find a photo in the Creative Commons, but couldn't. So go find your own. It's neat.
- There are about 28,000 butterflies worldwide with 80% of them in tropical regions.
- In North America, most of species live in Mexico, about 2,000.
- Between the United States and Canada there are only 725 species. . .220 of them live in Arizona!
- There are 22 species of butterflies in America that are on the endangered species list.
Susan has been the art director at Premier since 2002. She used to exercise race horses in addition to working at Premier but has since adopted one of the race horses. Now she is happily working one job and enjoying having spare time. In this spare time she is either outdoors with her horse or home at her easel. Occasionally she is doing random cat rescue. She enjoys her job and all the people she gets to meet along the way. Her favorite kites this year are Batty and Unicorns deltas!