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Orange tip butterfly male on bluebell

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Orange Tip Butterfly (male) On Woodland Bluebell


Orange tip female on bluebell

Orange Tip Butterfly (female) On Woodland Bluebell

LIFE HISTORY

LIFE HISTO

Orange tip egg

Orange Tip Egg

Orange tip female on bluebell

Orange Tip Caterpillar

Orange tip chrysalis

Orange Tip Chrysalis


"How great a mystery of Nature is the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly! This is not, as one might imagine at first, a gradual process of transition and modification. The body of the caterpillar is not just reduced or enlarged, it is not pushed in here or pulled out there there, it is not moulded as it were into the body of a butterfly. Nor is this the case with any of the caterpillar's organs.

No, a far more astounding sequence of events takes place. Inside the horny envelope of the pupa, the whole caterpillar melts and deliquesces into an amorphous semi-liquid pulp until nothing of its original form remains. Viewed as a sentient entity, that caterpillar has "died". It has no organs with which to contact the outside world, no nervous system to afford it awareness, however dim, of its own existence.

But after death comes resurrection. Somewhere in that pultaceous mass a mysterious controlling force is concealed. Science is baffled and even the imagination is confounded. It cannot be and yet it is! Some wholly inexplicable directing influence now exerts its power and slowly cell by cell, organ by organ, a new being takes shape. A new organism is gradually built up that bears no resemblance to the lowly caterpillar either in function or in shape, and a glorious butterfly spreads its wings to the welcoming sun.

The Ancient  Greeks called these radiant creatures, which appear thus to enter into a new and higher existence through the portal of their dead selves, psychae - souls! And their life-history, as revealed by present-day research, has invested this name with even deeper symbolism. Symbolism merging into Truth? ... Who knows? ..." 

ISLAND TRAILS © Theodore Stephanides 1973

Photographed in Dorset Southern England

Technical  information: 

http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/wildlifegarden/atoz/o/orangetipbutterfly.asp

http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/species/orange-tip

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/british-natural-history/survey-bluebells/bluebell-identification/native/index.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_9286000/9286072.stm

Orange Tips as indicators of Global warming

http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9555000/9555792.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/8189613.stm

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