Thursday, 2 April 2015

A-Z Challenge 2015 - Butterflies - 'B'

B - Brimstone

Brimstone is the archaic name for sulphur which may be associated with volcanic fumaroles like this:

Sulphurous fumarole (Italy)
Fire and brimstone occurs in the Bible as an expression for the wrath of God.

"The breath of Jehovah, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it." - Isaiah 30:33

The expression is also used to describe a style of Christian preaching that uses a vivid description of judgement and eternal damnation.

However the word butterfly is believed to be derived from "butter-coloured fly" which is attributed to the - 

Male Brimstone Butterfly (in flight)
The Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) is one of the longest living (c.11 months) British butterflies and one of the few to hibernate as an adult.

Its larvae feed on the leaves of the Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartia) or Alder Buckthorn (Frangula alnus). The caterpillar feeds on the food plant and are found lying along the mid-rib on the upper side of the leaf.

Brimstone caterpillar
Male Brimstone on a bluebell
Although the male is a bright high yellow, the female is a very pale yellow, almost white.

It occurs in England and Wales but not in Scotland; its range extends from England and the welsh borders north to Yorkshire, Cheshire and the southern parts of the Lake District. I have yet to see one in the hedges and verges in North Yorkshire.

Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings

Photo attributions:
  • Fumarole - Jan 1 2006, by Brisk g - Public domain
  • Common Brimstone butterfly male in flight - 22 July 2014, by Charles j Sharp; CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Brimstone caterpillar on buckthorn leaf - 28 May 2012, by Giles San Martin (Namur, Belgium); CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Male Brimstone butterfly on bluebell - 22 Apr 2008,, by Graham Newell - CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Video - Brimstone Butterfly, Anna Rubato


Bill Nicholls said...

Yes I have heard of that butterfly and on some of the churches I have visited for my other blog I have often wondered about the preacher speaking about Fire & brimstone from the pulpit

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob - the Brimstone butterfly - certainly matches Brimstone .. disgusting looking stuff! Great photos though .. and interesting tidbits .. cheers Hilary

Bish Denham said...

Lovely. Here in Texas we have a little yellow one simply called a sulfur.

Karen S. said...

Wow, simply gorgeous Bob. Your photos are so delightful!

viridian said...

Ah, a little bit of geology! Yesterday's and today's butterflies are so beautiful. We don't have wild blue ones in the states.
I am doing the A-z challenge too - let's hope I make it all the way through.

Pat Hatt said...

Never knew brimstone was used so much

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Bob! I love that you have chosen butterflies this year. I'll learn a lot about them now.

Thanks for working so hard to find my posts. I asked them to try and fix it, but I haven't heard anything back. I am posting the A-Z FB page, and that helps to get the word out. I am just so glad to be back to blogging. Soon enough I will be doing Sepia Saturday again too.

You might enjoy this miniture railroad post that I did last summer:


Kathy M.

Kristin said...

I never knew what brimstone actually was, just that it was something associated with hell. The butterfly is much more soothing.

Tara Tyler R said...

i never knew brimstone could be so beautiful - or yellow! i always picture it red hot! cool!
and lovely poem to go with!

happy b day!

Jo said...

There's a yellow butterfly on this side of the pond. Used to see masses of them in North Carolina. Don't know what they were called.

aw said...

Seeing this entry, Bob, reminds me I have yet to see a brimstone butterfly this year although there have been lots of bumblebees the past week.

Kieron Walker said...

Those are some great photos!

I'm always amazed by how well some of these butterflies blend in with their surroundings. If I were to see this one in real life, I probably would have mistaken it for a leaf!