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A Butterfly Named Henry

  1. Oct 26, 2011 #1
    So I live in Massachusetts and the weather here is starting to get chilly. Yesterday afternoon there was a lovely butterfly exploring my kitchen. I gently scooped him up and set him free outside. The temperature dropped quickly as the sun set and I discovered Henry (the name I gave him (not really sure if it's a 'him')) perched on the outside of my screen door. To my surprise, I found him still there in the exact same spot this evening. I figured that the colder weather was starting to overtake him. I wrestled for a while with the idea of bringing him back into my house. I usually say that nature needs to take its course; but for some reason it pained me to let him stay out there to die.

    So I went outside and and nudged him into my hand. He did not resist and was in a state of hibernation or something of the like. He crawled to the edge of my hand where he just stayed. I brought him into my kitchen and let him warm up a bit. He eventually started probing around for nectar with his proboscis (the little 'straw' they use to drink). Lucky for him I had some ready that I made from sugar and room temperature water. Here is a picture of him eating from my hand. After a long drink (about 15 minutes) he started fluttering his wings and being active so I put him in my study with a little dish of nectar. There he will stay and be my friend until I decide what I should do with him.

    Thanks for reading my silly story.


  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 26, 2011 #2


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    I wasn't going to comment, but after seeing the pic I have the "baby bumblebee" song stuck in my head. Hopefully everyone else gets to suffer as well.
  4. Oct 26, 2011 #3


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    I do similar stuff, Casey. I have withheld nectar feeding all summer because my wife is establishing a rampant perennial garden in our front yard, and I want the pollinators to do their work. The "birds and bees" are better off with a stable place with good food sources and good choices on behalf of us more powerful critters who can throttle them.

    My actions may help the individual critters, but larger decisions like when to put out certain feeders stocked with certain feeds should have more research to establish parameters, and follow-up. We don't have a lot of that now.
  5. Oct 27, 2011 #4
    So, if you want to name your little friend, most probably the Small Cabbage White. Cabbage farmers here are not very fond of him. I used to grow cabbages :uhh:
  6. Oct 27, 2011 #5

    Math Is Hard

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    A song about kind people like you.. o:)

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  7. Oct 27, 2011 #6


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    My bet is Henry will not stay long with you - they have rather short live spans, several weeks or something like that. When it is getting cold they can survive longer, but not in the warm house.

    If I am not mistaken, one spot on the upper wing suggests a male. Females have two spots.
  8. Oct 27, 2011 #7


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    Very touching, thanks. :smile:
  9. Oct 27, 2011 #8


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    Very cool. Thanks for posting
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