Butterflies are beautiful to watch, their beautiful colors flitting through the air. How relaxing it is to watch them during a sunny afternoon.
They have inspired poets and been the subject of legends and mythology. A popular Irish belief is that a butterfly landing on your should will bring you happiness and riches. I don’t know about that but I know they are beautiful.
Although we rarely think about it, butterflies are an important part of the natural ecological balance. They are an accurate indicator of the overall health of our ecosystem.
Butterflies also help to pollinate plants and crops. The decrease in the bee population over the past several years, makes them even more valuable as pollinators. We also must not forget their place in the food chain. They are a valuable source of food for songbirds.
Worldwide, over 17,000 species of butterfly exist. In North America alone, there are over 7,000 species. Of these, most of us are only familiar with a few, including the Swallow Tail and Monarch.
Each year the butterflies habitat is diminished by what we call progress. We are developing more and more land for housing and businesses. This all takes habitat areas away from these beautiful and delicate creatures.
If the butterfly should ever disappear what a huge loss it would be. I can’t even imagine what it would be like, to never see them fluttering colorfully around the garden.
We can all help to ensure they will be around for generations to come by planting the flowers they require for survival. Some of the plants that both attract butterflies and provide valuable nectar are…
- Bee balm
- Butterfly bush
- Butterfly plant
- Bush cinquefolia
- Ornamental thistles
- Rabbit brush
- Sweet pea
It is important that we all remember butterflies are not only beautiful, they are a valuable asset to the health of our environment.