Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Beautiful Butterflies!

Soon after my parents bought their "FINALLY!" beach house located in Pine Knoll Shores, NC (between Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle), we were all gathered over a Labor Day weekend and noticed yellow butterfly after yellow butterfly after yellow butterfly...constantly streaming by on a Northeast course. Sometimes there would be groups of 2 or 3; sometimes dozens at a time. Looking for the yellow butterflies became a group event each subsequent year; if someone wasn't present that year, they would inevitably either get a phone call saying "The butterflies are flying by!" or they would call and ask as to the butterfly status. Over this past Labor Day weekend, my Dad went down to the beach and sure enough, I got a phone call the afternoon he arrived letting me know the butterflies were strutting their stuff. Unfortunately, Darby and I were not able to join my Dad this year. In lieu of seeing the real thing, I decided to write about butterflies and show some pictures of my favorite ones! I remember being a little girl and eagerly awaiting the first signs of Spring. We lived in High Point, NC and had a huge yard that had been filled to the brim by the previous owner (who travelled extensively) with bulbs, bushes, plants and trees from all over the world. Needless to say, it was quite a yard and my parents used to love watching me run all over the place exclaiming every time I found a new bulb that had peeked its head out for the first time that year. With this bounty of beauty came the butterflies. Lots of pretty little things lazily drifting through the yard. I used to try to get one to alight on my arm or hand. No such luck! I suppose I have always found butterflies beautiful, so it seems fitting that I have several collectible ones now! The first photo is of a bohemian glass beaded bag (circa 1920) with 3 butterflies on the front. Beaded beags are a favorite of mine, and those with scenes, animals or flowers are even more sought after. Think about the time it took to make this bag. Astounding. There are thousands of beads on a beaded bag. Wow. Talk about patience and talent. The second picture shows several brightly colored enamel on sterling butterfly pins. Most are from Norway and again, are considered highly collectible in good condition. At least one of these is by the famous and extremely valued designer David Andersen! I happen to have an affinity for enamel ware (jewelry, open salts, etc...) from Norway and Denmark, so the butterflies are a natural extension. The picture at the top of this post reveals a quite simple little butterfly, and it is fitting that he is yellow and once belonged to my mother. He pins onto your sweater and sits, perched lightly on your shoulder. Couple that with some butterfly lore brought to us from the Unsolved Mysteries site: many ancient civilizations believed that butterflies represented the human soul; the Chinese and Japanese both use butterflies as a symbol of joy; Native American Indian legends told that butterflies would carry wishes to the great spirit in heaven to be granted, while the Aztecs believed butterflies represented the happy dead visiting their relatives to assure them all was well, and you have to wonder...what do butterflies mean to YOU?

1 comment:

Stacey said...

What a great post! So informative and inspiring!