While I love seeing a butterfly, freshly emerged from its chrysalis with perfect, brand-new wings, I’ve also come to appreciate the survivor butterflies– the ones with the torn and tattered wings. These battle-worn butterflies are emblems of survival.
When a bird attacks a butterfly, it will usually attack the eye spots, giving the butterfly a chance to escape. A butterfly can fly and feed like normal with up to 70% of its wing surface missing.
The longer the season goes on, the more likely you are to find these butterflies with damaged wings. As I was observing my perennial flower bed in late July, I noticed that many of the butterflies had missing wing parts. The damage didn’t seem to hinder the butterflies’ flight. I was especially surprised that the butterfly in the first picture was flying like normal.
Looking for and journaling about these survivor butterflies is an interesting late summer nature study idea. I’m glad that God has given butterflies the ability to continue flourishing even after they’ve been injured. They can teach us and our children a lot about resilience and survival.
“But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee.” Job 12:7
I know I’ll be keeping a lookout for these amazing butterflies and adding pictures to this post as I am able to capture them.
More Summer Nature Study Ideas
For more things to discover in nature with your children, check out my monthly nature studies.