“What a World, What a World,” cried the Wicked Witch~

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Remember, she said this when she was melting. (Orange Julia)

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She was too selfish,
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to care about anything beyond herself (Orange Julia, Blue Morpho, Cydno Longwing)
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and so she melted. (Side-Striped Hairstreak)
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Poor wicked witch.
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She could never find joy in a butterfly. (Monarch, Longwing)
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Joy finds those, (Postman)
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who care about nature, (Gulf Fritillary)
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and all her creatures. (Cattleheart)
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May our beautiful butterfly world bring joy to you~ (Starry Night Cracker)

279 thoughts on ““What a World, What a World,” cried the Wicked Witch~

  1. GORGEOUS! I’ve never seen a Starry Night Cracker – wonderful captures, Cindy, esp. the clusters of Longwings on the matching Pentas. What an awesome sanctuary that must have been.

    1. They are amazing creatures aren’t they. I struggled over the identification of a couple of them. Did I get them all right? This year they had so many more species, but limited identification information which was frustrating.

      1. I’m not an expert on butterflies, so you could have told me anything and I’d believe you – lol! These butterfly sanctuaries are pretty amazing places and many are breeding for reintroduction to the wild where numbers have been decimated. Good work!

      2. Yes, and they are breeding super endangered species. I was really impressed by the new and rare varieties this year. I just wish I didn’t have to find out on my own what they all were. One I am iffy on. I could only find 3 photos in all the internet on it and only one that attempted identification. I would love to know for certain what it is.

      1. Yes, at The Holler we have a butterfly paradise garden to attract them and we get some, but not nearly enough. Monarchs are rare here now and that is so pathetic. They used to be everywhere. If I brought you a butterfly joy Belinda, than I did good today. <3 <3

  2. Omgoddess..๐Ÿ™€๐Ÿ˜ธ๐Ÿ˜these beautiful, outrageously colorful, lil bits of living, flying confetti just brightened up my corner of the universe!!! Thanks for this post Cindy..aren’t they simply “loverly???!!”

    1. I love this, “flying confetti!” What a perfect descriptor. They do challenge us to come up with adjectives appropriate to their wonder. So pleased you love them too~

      1. I do love them-each and every one..I like “flying confetti too!!”The Monarchs have flying around been out here lately and they’ve very welcome visitors indeed

  3. Beautiful creatures. What did they have to go through to get to look like that? To whom it may concern, including myself, ugly people, there is hope for you yet.
    Thank you for your work/fun.

  4. I second Tasty Eats’ comment! I rarely get to see butterflies up-close and personal so these photos are such a treat! You could sell these as cards if you wanted to, they are so wonderful, Cindy! <3

    1. I was fascinated by the visuals of these butterflies swarming en-masse on these flowers. They ignored the other flowers and the grouping and colors as you mention created quite a spectacle!

  5. I love how you managed to get so up close with your camera Cindy! Love being able to see their faces – particularly of the Orange Julia (top photo). Amazing how many different colors and patterns butterflies come in. The last, Starry Night Cracker, is one I never knew existed! So thank you for surprising me.

    Have you visited the Goleta Monarch Grove near Santa Barbara (here: http://www.goletabutterflygrove.com/monarch-gallery/ )? It’s an amazing sight to see so many monarch butterflies clumped together in the Eucalyptus grove. At first they might look like a shadowy clump of leaves above you, but then you look again and there they are! ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. The Goleta photos are so incredibly cool they gave me goosebumps! I am so happy to see them clustering. I have seen many times swarms of thousands of monarchs, between The Holler and Anza Borrego State Park on their annual migration, but I haven’t seen this at all in the past seven years which makes me very sad. As the butterflies go, so do we. So glad to see they are clustering in Goleta.
      There is that Mexican man who is one of the worlds richest persons , who bought their breeding space in Latin America because his son brought him there and he was overwhelmed by the sound of millions of monarchs wings and he wanted to save them.
      There is good in the world, just not enough of it.

      1. Thank you for that inspiring story of the Mexican Man! I’d sure like to accomplish something similar in the future. I’d been giving a lot of thought to buying land and a future home and would want to preserve the natural beauty of a place – as a sanctuary to all the critters who already inhabit it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Great photos of fairy friends and very nice of you (I think) to call me a “Starry Night Cracker”. There are times when the description feels spot on. ๐Ÿ˜€ Have a nice day. ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. Kind of you to think so. Although I think God Graham is probably spoiling me a bit. Do you think it might be a Freudian thing and can I have some cake. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. I love butterflies. And I miss them, too. We only have two kinds in Hawaii, and though they are beautiful, I do enjoy the other vibrant colored ones when I visit the mainland ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Plus, if you head down into Mexico, Central America, South America, the beauty and variety is simply overwhelming. In Iguazu, tropical butterflies I still cannot identify, hitched rides on me for hours. It was something one could never forget.

  8. Cindy, what a joyful variety of our most special of nature’s creatures. And the monarch…fabulous. I hope that the prediction from the nesting in Mexico becomes a reality. There seems to be hope for a better 2016 for them. I will be increasing the milkweed wherever I can find spaces in my gardens.

    1. I haven’t seen the monarchs yet. Basically everything in our garden is a butterfly attractant. I used to see them in vast swarms but haven’t seen that in years which is terribly sad. Hope it is better this year too!

    1. I struggled to identify a few of them. One was very difficult to identify. I found only 3 photos of it with intensive searching, and only one that provided identification which may or may not be correct. So, yes there were some rare butterflies!

  9. As ever Cindy your photos are great, however as ever they bring colour and freshness into my tired eyes. The postman pic is my fave. Cheers Cindy ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Isn’t it all about us? (ME!) Who else but humans find sensory pleasure in gazing upon these multi-faceted, colorful creatures? ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. It does seem that much of our world values selfishness doesn’t it. Facebook being one example. I can’t believe how many people post photo after photo of themselves. They never tire of their own image. I also notice that animals people watch, birds people watch, and animals watch other animals. At breakfast this morning, my husband was talking about a bird and a lizard that eyed each other for the longest time. He found it amazing~

  11. Beautiful photos. Always a joy to open up the link to your blog Cindy. I hope that coffee table books make a comeback and yours tops the charts. Or possibly a WordPress slide show where your readers could sip coffee and watch “The Holler” drift by or do “Armchair Travels” for hours on end?
    I got butterflies reading today’s post. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I sooo love the last one, Cindy!! I’ve seen Blue Morpho once in a while but never knew its name. We see Monarchs too. Some of those others just don’t get over this way, sad to say. What a lovely post this is — so Spring-like!

    1. It is definitely spring at The Holler. I am waiting for the orioles, which for me marks the official beginning of spring! I saw the blue morpho once while traveling, such an incredibly beautiful creature. You are so lucky to have them around you!

  13. Just gorgeous. I love butterflies, but sadly enough they are more and more disappearing from our country. Farmers cut more of their fields and poison more of their crops – and the butterflies. A true joy to see that many you have captured!

    1. Yes, it is a tragedy how we treat the natural world, somehow mistakenly assuming we are not a part of it, and will not succomb to the pesticides and pollution, just as the butterflies do. So sad & so ignorant~

  14. This post is like a jewelry box with a Ballerina twirling to music, and all to present the beautiful butterfly gems within…. the Holler!
    Gorgeous, Cindy!

      1. I love that image of you covered in butterflies. I have caterpillars ravishing my Pentas flowers but I don’t mind as they will regrow. A friend said ” why don’t you spray?” No way as I want the resulting butterflies

  15. Hi Cindy, Theyre all beautiful, but my favorite was the last one, the Starry Night Cracker. I’ve loved butterflies since I was a boy. Couldn’t bring myself to collect them because I’d have to kill them and I just couldn’t do it. I would only catch them long enough to look at them and let them go. Still feel that way about them. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugs, Cuz.

    1. Yes, those kids who catch live butterflies and pin them to a board alive probably grow up to work in creepy professions. Killing a butterfly is cold! Happy St. Paddy’s Day cuz~

  16. Cindy, these pictures must have taken you quite a while to take, unless there are many butterflies at the holler. I just love them. Thank you for these awesome pictures. Brought me a lot of joy. Thank you for sharing! Sending you hugs! Veraiconica

      1. Thank you so very much Cindy, that really means a lot to me but not only I, you, yourself have an abundance of talent, I always look forward to your next post because not only are your pictures stunning rather the locations, and my favourite is your images of the Birds, I had no idea there so many, amazing photograph’s Merci Madame for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Butterflies are the perfect example of metamorphosis… I guess we all change as well. Life itself is a succession of changes. Excellent photographs, dear Cindy… ๐Ÿ™‚
    All the best to you!, Aquileana ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Yes, butterflies do transform, but remain in delicate and dependent concert with the natural world. My hope would be that humans might learn from the butterflies, and change their behavior towards all the living creatures on this planet before it is too late. <3

      1. In this loud — everyone competing to be heard world — I love to be blissed out as you put it by the butterflies’ silence and profound beauty. Keep sharing please. <3

  18. Absolutely beautiful! My 9-year-old daughter is terrified of flying insects, including butterflies, but maybe she’ll change her mind if I show her these gorgeous specimens! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Ask her if she wants to see one. Let her call the shots. Pick the one photo that seems the least clinical and detailed to you, the prettiest one, and show her only one and tell her if she doesn’t like it, it is perfectly okay, and see what happens. If her response is neutral, tell her you won’t show her anymore unless she wants to see them. If she is afraid, let it be.
      I used to treat phobias with sytematic desensitization. She is young and phobias in children usually pass on their own.
      Good luck! <3

  19. I took so many sharp intakes of breath at your beautiful photos (one right after the other) that I finally had to exhale! A couple of those butterflies I had never laid eyes on. “Wherever you turn your eyes, the world can surprise you like transfiguration. All you have to bring to it is a little willingness to see.”–from Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson…

  20. Wow! Cindy. Those butterfly photos are as stunning as the butterflies themselves. I found a beautiful butterfly skirt today in the opportunity shop…too big but I love butterflies so much, I’ll make it fit.
    Hope you’re having a great weekend. As I think you’re aware, the camera and I have been out chasing clouds lately. Incredible!
    By the way, the message your butterflies is sending me..”Sorry, Ro. Face it. When it’s Spring here, it’s Autumn there.” Yes, cool nights and complaints after hanging out for this cool change. Still have sunny days and 30 degrees. Life is good. xx Rowena

    1. You are wonderful friend. Thank you so much, and of course you love the butterflies! We see eye to eye when it comes to beauty of our natural world. Be well & cheers to you! <3 <3

  21. Hi Cindy. Gorgeous shots! I know how much patience it takes to get one good shot of a butterfly, so I can only imagine how long this took you. Where do you find so many beauties?

  22. They are all so beautiful!

    The Orange Julia in the first photo looks like a Chinese Empress in her golden yellow royal robe. It may look “simpler” without much patterns, but I personally think that it is very elegant and exceptionally beautiful. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I also really like the Starry Night Cracker. It reminds me of Diana Damrau as The Queen of the Night, singing the Second Aria of Mozart’s Magic Flute. XD

  23. Such beauty. You’ve managed to capture so many different and beautiful butterflies. I don’t have much use or trust for those who don’t care for nature and animals. Your pictures have started my morning on such an uplifting note. Have a wonderful week, my friend! ๐ŸŒป๐Ÿ˜ป

    1. I know how much you love all creatures Linda. If there was such a thing as reincarnation, I would like to come back as one of your cats. Your catio is da bomb! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. I love your trip through Oz, and I’m going to reblog in honor of World Poetry Day. (Were you visiting a butterfly garden or do you get all of those in the Holler?) My favorite butterfly is Starry Night Cracker.

    1. These were taken at The Butterfly Jungle at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park. Happy Poetry Day Brenda and thank you so much my friend for your kind thougthfulness! <3 <3

  25. Such joyful images of our fluttering friends. Enjoyed how your words tell a story leading to the ultimate truth that love of nature will manifest joy in our lives. ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. I feel like I stumbled onto a private party with these beautiful creatures. Your images are so amazingly crisp and close – details I’ve never seen before.

    1. That is such a good descriptor of what it felt like! The exhibit had only just opened and it was uncrowded and did indeed feel like a butterly party. Best party ever!

  27. Cindy, what beautiful butterflies! Our botanical conservatory has a butterfly display in April of each year, featuring butterflies of other countries. Entry is through a series of doors and screens to prevent the butterflies from escaping, and they provide nectar so you can attract butterflies. They will land right on your had to get the nectar.

    1. I love love the nectar idea! What fun that would be. In Iguazu butterflies these amazingly colored tropical butterflies would land on you and hitch a ride through the jungle for long periods. Smart little flying flowers were saving energy and being friendly! <3

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