Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Butterfly World: Part 4

Not only does Butterfly World have large numbers of butterflies, hummingbirds, parrots, lorikeets and insects but they also have plants that attract all of the above. This beautiful orchid even attracted me.

So did this cloudburst of flowers. I have no idea what this plant is but the huge number of showy flowers cannot help but make one stop and look.

Butterfly World is a very educational experience — did you know that butterflies love chocolate. At least that is what I must assume since this is a chocolate plant. Huge leaves to provide photosynthesis under a jungle canopy — eventually producing flowers and later cocoa beans. Unlike most plants, the flowers grow directly out of the bark instead of at the end of stems like most plants. And yes, if you had one of these trees you could grow the beans and produce your own Hershey bars from them.

This one looks familiar — it is a shrimp plant — also found commonly in Hawai`i. Unlike the chocolate plant, you cannot harvest these flowers and make a shrimp cocktail. Who would have guessed?

Butterflies not only need nectar from flowers, they also need water. Conveniently, Butterfly World has provided a lovely little waterfall to meet that need.

Oh, here's a familiar friend — a Nawili flower — also common in Hawai`i. Can't you just picture a butterfly clinging to this flower enjoying its nectar? I wanted to actually capture one on silicon but the butterflies just ignored my wishes.

Another flower that I don't know (that's not all that uncommon). But now we were walking outside so any butterflies would be free.

But I did not see a single butterfly — probably because I was distracted by the facility's extensive collection of passion flowers. Yes, passion flowers that grow on passion vines and produce passion fruit. POG anyone? POG = Passion fruit, Orange, Guava. A staple beverage in Hawai`i — I love it.

Seriously, they have an amazing collection of passion plants — each one a bit different from the previous.

Passion flowers actually derived their name, not from sexual passion, but from religious passion. From Wikipedia...

In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish Christian missionaries adopted the unique physical structures of this plant, particularly the numbers of its various flower parts, as symbols of the last days of Jesus Christ and especially the Crucifixion:

• The pointed tips of the leaves were taken to represent the Holy Lance.
• The tendrils represent the whips used in the Flagellation of Christ.
• The ten petals and sepals represent the ten faithful apostles (less St. Peter the denier and Judas Iscariot the betrayer).
• The flower's radial filaments, which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to flower, represent the Crown of Thorns.
• The chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle represents a hammer or the Holy Grail.
• The 3 stigmata represent the 3 nails and the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds (four by the nails and one by the lance).
• The blue and white colors of many species' flowers represent Heaven and Purity.


Regardless of how they got their name, they are very interesting, photogenic flowers.

Last but not least are my Butterfly World companions — my dad and Monica, who helped care for my mom and has stayed on to help care for my dad. Monica performed heroic service during my mom's illness and really has become a member of the family. I am glad we could share this time and this place together.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com