An Enchantment of Butterflies »»»Published: November 02, 2008

click for larger image
  • The symbolism of the butterfly is one that even young children understand.

Of all the things in nature that throughout history have captivated the minds, hearts and souls of people, perhaps the most powerful and most universal are butterflies. To gardeners and naturalists, butterflies are considered the most beautiful and popular representatives of the insect world. In this 40 minute program, Dr. Gary Noel Ross, a lepidopterist whose lifelong love of butterflies has led him around the world in his studies, invites us to uncover the mysteries of butterfly behavior and development. We'll share in his on-going research, and learn about the special habitats and life cycles of butterflies.

As a tool for elementary school science teachers, butterfly gardens become a treasure chest of natural history. And more home gardeners want to know how they can landscape for butterflies in their own backyards. This program gives valuable information on starting and maintaining a garden that's friendly to caterpillars and butterflies.

Butterfly houses, long established in Europe, are becoming increasingly popular exhibits in the United States. We'll look at butterfly species from around the globe that are represented in these living collections. We'll also look at the current practice of "butterfly releases" at special events such as weddings, anniversaries or memorial services.

But this program examines more than just science and modern culture. The magic of metamorphosis has served as a literary metaphor for thousands of years, as we discover in examples of native myths, readings and dream imagery. Costume and dance help tell ancient stories from around the world. The symbolism of the butterfly is one that even young children understand. As we look at examples of this symbolism in art, as it is expressed in various cultures, there is a universal theme that helps explain the popularity of these delicate and ephemeral creatures.

"Psyche" was the name Greeks gave to both butterflies and the human soul. For Hospice members and clients, the symbolism of the butterfly is used as a source of solace and spiritual expression. An Enchantment of Butterflies visits a magical world, where science and art combine in one of the glories of nature.

  

Subscribe print Email Bookmark and Share

««« Most Popular Video