It is early Autumn here Around this time of year, I often encounter and follow butterflies. Butterflies, along with cicadas, have always fascinated me. Now, thanks to an art challenge, hosted by Sue Field and Kate Hicks, I am inspired to journal about them. During March, Sue and Kate will be posting daily their creations on Instagram. This challenge is dedicated to celebrating the beauty of moths.
I live on the traditional lands of the Kaurna people (Adelaide). During my research, I discovered that my local region is home to 78 species of butterflies, but 30 are currently listed as endangered. Their populations have been impacted factors, such as urbanisation. Learning this has inspired me to learn how I can help to re-wild butterflies.
Over the past three years, I have only crossed paths with small number of species. In the summer months, I most often see the wanderer, also known as the monarch butterfly. This species isn’t native to Australia. Over the weekend, I was chatting with a neighbour. She had a pair of monarch butterflies flying around her purple bush or Buddleia. She referred to them as ‘the French butterfly’. Her comment sparked my interest about the etymology of their name. Later, I discovered that papillion is the French word for a butterfly or moth. The holly blue is the country’s national butterfly. It is a small blue butterfly and is widespread through France, and parts of the UK (see Butterfly Conservation’s website). Meanwhile, the monarch butterfly received its name after King William II. His secondary title was ‘Prince of Orange.’ (see Wikilpedia, accessed 9 March 2023).
Last year, I had a memorable encounter in my garden with an Australian admiral. In suburban areas, this butterfly likes stinging nettle. There are a number of native species of nettle in South Australia. We aren’t growing nettle at the moment, but my friend came to rest on the flowering nectarine tree. I was able to admire the butterfly closely when it landed on my arm. You can watch the moment on my vlog.
Learn more about South Australian butterflies
Learn more about our butterflies by downloading a fact sheet from South Australia’s Department for Environment and Water’s website. Also, if you would like some tips on how to help re-wild butterflies, I recommend reading a post by Green Adelaide.
Join the art challenge
Want to join the art challenge? Follow Sue and Kate and share your creations by using the hashtag #marchmothmadness. I will be joining in from time to time and sharing my creations here and on Instagram.
Do you have a question for me about developing your own creative practice? I cordially invite you to subscribe to my e-newsletter. Each fortnight, I answer questions from my community about how you can begin to build your practice and business.
Do you want to explore your creativity in a safe and nurturing space? I have opened an art group called Wonder Weaver’s Circle. Each month I facilitate a creative session. To learn more about the circle, please visit my Patreon.