Mr. Nature: Beach Butterflies

What ho! Mr. Nature here. I haven’t seen any big butterflies yet this spring, but I can’t wait, so let’s go to the video.

When I visit the Jersey shore, I’m used to seeing seagulls flying over the waves and hopping around the beach. But this safari is to the shore of Lake Superior, on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula; and instead of seagulls, we’ve got tiger swallowtail butterflies.

Listen to that wind! Where I come from, butterflies tend to lie low until the wind dies down. Why are these tiger swallowtails out in this wind? And what draws so many of them to this beach? What are they doing?

My guess, and it’s only a guess, is that they’re noshing on minerals that have been left behind by evaporation. I don’t know if it’s right, but it does sound clever.

Whatever they’re doing, I’m always up for tiger swallowtails: God’s stuff, always beautiful: He looked on what He had made and pronounced it very good.

2 comments on “Mr. Nature: Beach Butterflies

  1. A long time ago we had a cottage on a recreational river. One year there was a great number of butterflies on the beach. A beautiful sight!

    Turns out they were Monarch butterflies gathering for their annual migration to Mexico.

    They look a lot like the swallowtails in the photo but they are orange. Can’t remember if they had tails.

    Beautiful and unforgettable.

    1. I would love to have seen that.
      Occasionally a monarch butterfly makes it all the way across the Atlantic to England, blown there by the wind. But they don’t colonize because milkweed doesn’t grow in England and that’s what the caterpillars eat. Makes them poisonous to predators.

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