Atmospheric Nostalgia Journal

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Atmospheric Nostalgia

Butterflies are powerful symbols in many cultures, often believed to represent material or spiritual transformation. In Greek, the word psyche means both "butterfly" and "soul." Butterflies start life as eggs that hatch into caterpillars (larvae). As the caterpillars grow, they molt (shed their skins) several times until their final molt produces a chrysalis, or pupa. When the butterfly is truly formed, it emerges from the chrysalis and pumps fluid from its body into its wings. Adult butterflies live anywhere from one week to six or eight months.

Butterflies are threatened by loss of habitat due to human development, and by environmental factors such as pollution, pesticides, and genetically modified crops. While many gardeners strive to attract butterflies, some destroy the larvae because they do not recognize them as immature butterflies.

This card features three species of butterfly found in North America: the Viceroy, Western Tiger Swallowtail, and Malachite. The Viceroy has evolved to mimic the toxic monarch, thus predators which have learned to avoid the Monarch, also avoid the non-toxic Viceroy.

artwork and text by Betsy Karasik © 2005