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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

A - Z Challenge 2015 - Butterflies 'X'

X - Xerces Blue

It was Hilary Melton-Butler who first told me about this butterfly otherwise I would have struggled for 'X'.

"When the tiny wings of the last Xerces Blue Butterfly ceased to flutter our world grew quieter by a whisper and duller by a hue."      Robert C Kuhman

When affordable homes were built on the sand dunes of western San Francisco in the early 20th century the tiny beautiful butterfly was doomed to extinction as the main source of food for its caterpillars disappeared.

Now if you want to see one you have to visit the basement of the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. Three drawers of them, in neat rows on the ends of pins are kept in a climate -controlled vault.

The French entomologist Boisduval named the butterfly after the Persian King Xerxes but used the French spelling - Xerces.

The last known specimens were taken in the early 1940s. Its tiny wings had a span of 7/8 - 1.1/4 inches about the size of a the end of a man's thumb.

The only photo I can find of the Xerces Blue is by Tom Prete of the Ocean Beach Bulletin and is copyright protected. I can work up no enthusiasm for including a picture of the specimens in those drawers, so I 'd rather show none.

It also seems rather ironic to me that Boisduval has another blue butterfly named after him.


Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

I feel it when you're with me
It happens when you kiss me
That rare and gentle feeling that I feel inside
Your touch is soft and gentle
Your kiss is warm and tender
Whenever I am with you I think of butterflies

Love is like a butterfly
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

Your laughter brings me sunshine
Every day is spring time
And I am only happy when you are by my side
How precious is this love we share
How very precious, sweet and rare
Together we belong like daffodils and butterflies

Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside

8 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob - thanks for the mention ... and yes it's a sad story but it looks like they're trying to bring it back ... there's a society for doing that ..

I didn't know why it was called Xerces Blue ... or your other details ..

Glad you were able to make use of the X .. at least yours is a true X ...

Cheers .. it's lovely down here ... Hilary

Bill Nicholls said...

I had to struggle withno place begining with X, ened up useing somthing from work. Bit of a cheat

Ann Bennett said...

I would not have posted a preserved specimen either. Sort of like looking at mummies.

Oh well, it is a crying shame we can't protect species better but ignorance rules the day. In the United States, 47 senators deny climate change. Of them, the majority know better. It is just their position and they are sticking to it. It just makes you want to holler.

Zannie Shaman said...

its is such fun to see how creative people have been with 'X' in the challenge.
A poignant tale indeed

zannierose A-Z

Kern Windwraith said...

So many species of all kinds of creatures becoming extinct--very sad. I appreciate you not posting a picture of one of those dead specimens. There's always something very creepy about those drawers upon drawers of once-living animal.

I love the quotation from Robert C. Kuhman.

Jo said...

I have just checked it out, what a pretty butterfly. How very sad that it is extinct and, as so often, made that way by man.

Maria said...

Great entry for "X"!! I was struggling and had to make do with the symbol "X" for "forbidden".

Maria said...

... or better yet, try to be more resourceful instead of using "X" as a prohibitive sign. I've followed your lead and been more resourceful for letter "X"! :-)