Aug 24-04

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2004: Aug: Aug 24-04
Butterfly beauty    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Lyn Rayrat

Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 05:57 am:

A butterfly's lifespan averages anywhere from 2 to 14 days, so Lyn Rayrat snapped up this photo of the colorful Monarch, with little time to spare! This beautiful insect is not only colorful itself, but can see all the shades we humans can, plus they view ultraviolet hues as well. Many of the flowers from which butterflies get their nourishment, have these colors, such as the common daisy. We only see the yellow and white, but a butterfly sees the ultraviolet colors right outside the yellow. Another interesting factoid is that if you were to touch a butterfly's wing, you would have what seems to be dust rub off on your finger. Their wings are actually clear, but covered with tiny colorful scales, that's what rubs off on you! Last but not least, a group of butterflies is often referred to as a 'kaleidoscope' that must be where the phrase, 'A kaleidoscope of colors' comes from!

By Marko on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 06:03 am:

Good morning !!!! From Columbus Ohio
First Post

By Debi, Laurium on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 06:03 am:

Good Morning, All! Boy, Mary, you sure start your day early. Beautiful picture!

By Arn Wendt Coopersville, LP on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 06:07 am:

Enjoy the Day. I wish I was there; but work interfers.

By troll in E.H. on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 06:08 am:

Good morning....

By maijaMI on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 06:20 am:

Wonderful gallery, Lynn.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 06:36 am:

Mornin'! I love the kalidescope explanation. Will use it in the classroom today.

By NKR Mishawaka IN on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 06:46 am:

Good morning from Mishawaka IN. Look at the detail on this beautiful butterfly. God sure does good work

By NKR Mishawaka IN on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 06:48 am:

Bye the way Lyn great picture.

By Renee in AL on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 06:51 am:

Beautiful picture! But if I am not mistaken I think Monarch butterflies live longer then 14 days. Many of them migrate down South to spend the winter and come back in spring to mate and lay eggs. Maybe someone more knowlegable can back me up on this fact??
All the best from hot AL,

By Sheila, Louisville, OH on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 07:11 am:

Beautiful way to start the day!

By Flower Sisk on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 07:12 am:

Great picture, Good Morning From Hot, Hummid, Hazey, South Georgia

By anita, mi on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 07:37 am:

good morning from Lapeer. First day of school here and we have a cool morning.

By mckenneyp, GR MI on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 08:16 am:

Good morning everybody. Thats a great picture, I love trying to get in close to get pictures of things we see but are often taken for granted!

Hope everyone has a good one!

By Meggie, MI on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 08:18 am:

Good Morning. Cloudy here and about 60, with a strong ESE offshore wind, so the lake on the north shore of the Keweenaw is quiet despite the strong winds.

By dm on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 08:19 am: has some info on the butterflies

By Bek, Fond du Lac on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 08:22 am:

Good Morning! Nice pic today. The muggies are back in fond du lac today and are suppose to stick around for a few days.
There are species of Monarchs that have a life span from 6-9 months. They are the exception though. "Most" species of butterflies do only live a couple weeks.

By Cindy in Iowa on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 08:29 am:

Renee in AL,
You are correct. I took the following from Miscrosoft Encarta. I remember watching a PBS show about the butterfly. A very remarkable creature.

Monarch butterflies are known for their long migrations. Each autumn the adult monarchs that live east of the Rocky Mountains in North America migrate to central Mexico; adult monarchs west of the Rockies migrate to the California coast. The longest flight known for a tagged adult is some 2,900 km (some 1,800 mi) from Ontario, Canada, to Mexico. Migratory groups congregate at the same places each winter, such as Pacific Grove, California, or the mountains in central Mexico, where the trees may be completely covered with monarchs.

As winter ends, monarchs begin to mate. In March they leave their winter homes, flying north and east. On the northward journey, females stop to lay eggs on the underside of milkweed plants and die shortly thereafter. The offspring continue to migrate, returning to the same North American regions where their parents lived.

Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2002. © 1993-2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Take care and have a good day. It is raining, thundering and lighting here in Iowa today.

By keweenawgal on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 08:37 am:

Good Luck at the bank today Jim B! Hope everything goes well!

By Missin the UP from NJ on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 08:44 am:

So, there you go again! A perfect picture and some interesting info, too!

Beautiful, Thanks!

By yooper in indiana on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 08:47 am:

happy birthday to the EH/Bama guy!

By Just wondering on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 08:50 am:

I often wondered just how scientists *know* what an animal "sees". I've heard that dogs don't see colors, and now butterflies see ultraviolet hues.

So, as another old saying goes, "How do it know?"

In any case, great pic, Lyn. Oh, and by the way, I've also wondered about your last name, what nationality is Rayrat?

By Meggie, MI on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 09:02 am:

Reading messages from yesterday and I would like to thank those of you for relating of your vacations in the U.P. I am enjoying reading of your experiences. We have shared all of that, and more, with you over the years. and welcome back to our portion of God's Country, where it seems that God has surely put in just a little more time creating it.

By John from the prairie on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 09:07 am:

Last year I managed to catch the Monarch migration from
Peninsula point across Lake Michigan. It was AMAZING.

By Mary Ann, WY on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 09:07 am:

What a beautiful photo to see first thing in the morn, especially when it feels like fall outside. Summer just goes by too fast. Yesterday there was a little fresh snow in the mountains.

By Ken, Washburn, WI on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 09:14 am:


If Monarchs live only fourteen days, how do they summer up here and winter in Mexico? Are they SSTs?

By SarahK, MI on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 09:26 am:

I agree with "just wondering" da dey know dat?

By The Z-Man on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 09:52 am:

The monarch larva molts, or sheds its skin, five times before entering the pupae stage. The entire larval state lasts from 9-14 days under normal summer temperatures.
The pupa stage is often called a chrysalis and usually lasts from 8-13 days (the lower time corresponds to warm conditions. It is not a cocoon, since it has no silken covering.
Male and female monarchs are easily distinguished: males have a black spot on a vein on each hind wing that is not present on the female.
Adult monarchs in summer generations live from 2-5 weeks; those that emerge in late summer and early fall can live up to 8-9 months to survive the trip to and from their overwintering sites in Mexico.

Editor's note: Thanks for the larva sure to check out the Z-Man capture of a Monarch! :->

By JJ MI on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:04 am:

They know it - by reconizing what various insects/ animals respond to. Thus the zebra in tall grass is unseen.

My daughter tells me that bulls are not attracted to "red" but to the movement of the object.

Perhaps we all could learn from that...

By Kate, CA on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:05 am:

Snow already on the mountain tops in Wyoming? Gee, I'd love a good thunderstorm and some rain, just for variety! All we have is fog in the am, sunny skies in the afternoon, fog rolls back in around 8-9 pm. Good sleepin' weather at night anyway, and is good for the grapes. Pears in our area are being harvested a month early!! And some wineries have already started their "crush", way ahead of schedule. As this is supposed to be an El Nino year, guess I should be careful what I wish for, eh?

By Ralph stuck in Fl. on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:13 am:

Hello to the C.C. just starting to get all the power back on after the big storm. Central Florida is a mess but were starting to put things back together. Wish I was back in Calumet.

By Finn Corryton TN. on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:20 am:

As I was reading about the Butterfly me too like Just wondering was a wondering,how they know that?Ya know it got to be hard to figure out. Not like figuring how much weight a bridge can hold,cause they just drive one of them big trucks over it until it breaks.Then they weigh the truck, build the bridge back the same way and put a sign up.Them Scientists got to go to school much longer then a Engineer goes to Tech eh?

By shelly/Yankee in Texas on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 11:42 am:

Great picture! Great facts.

I haven't seen a butterfly in a very long time; so I planted a plant by the front window to attract luck yet. :(

Have a great day!

By Dr. Nat in Nevada on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 11:56 am:

Though I don't know much about insects, here is how scientists know what mammals see. In our eyes we have structures called rods and cones. Rods are sensitive to light and darkness (and motion), but not color. Cones are sensitive to color. There are three types of cones, red, green, and blue cones that control our perception of color. The presence of each of these types of cones controls what colors we can see. Cats and dogs, for example, are not completely colorblind. They lack one of the types of cones so they can see some color, especially shades of blue and yellow, similar to what a human with red-green colorblindness can see. However, when compared to birds, all humans are partially colorblind. Birds have a fourth type of cone that enables them to see light in the ultraviolet spectrum. We know what types of cones and how many rods and cones different animals have through microscopic studies of the eyes.
Hopefully this helps answer questions about how we know what animals can see. And yes, I am a scientist and went to school for a long, long time to learn all this stuff.

By Audrey, San Jose, CA on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 12:00 pm:

Finn Corryton TN.... THANKS for the morning laugh! Your bridge analogy cracked me up!

Kate, CA... what part of CA are you from?

Good morning all!

By Steve, Livonia MI on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 12:06 pm:

I have heard that Tawas Point State Park (eastern Lower Peninsula) is a good place to watch the Monarch migration (not to mention the spring and fall bird migrations), but one of the best is just over the border from SE Michigan - Point Pelee National Park near Leamington, Ontario. The Point Pelee website provides some information about the Monarchs that pass through the park:

By Audrey, San Jose, CA on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 12:06 pm:

Can anyone tell me where these falls are?

As per Editor's note, I checked out Z-Man's capture of a Monarch and came across this picture! Beautiful! I wanna go see when we're here next week!

By Lowell MO on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 12:20 pm:

All I can say about the subject of what they know or don't know is: They are learning more and more all the time about these things and some of the things that they used to say was the way things were aren't. Like DNA the newest way to check it they have found out that some animals and plants didn't belong to the families that they had them in. So they have had to go back to square one and start over.

By The Z-Man on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 12:28 pm:

They would be the Powerhouse Falls on the Falls River located in L'Anse, MI. They are about the fifth set of falls up the river. There is a nice picnic table there with a roof overhead. Nice spot to sit a spell and enjoy the great outdoors.

Semper Fi
The Z-Man

By Audrey, San Jose, CA on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 12:43 pm:

Z-Man - THANK YOU so much! Are they easy to find? Do I need directions? What does Semper Fi mean? BTW, great pictures!

By SarahK, Mi on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 01:23 pm:

Thanks Dr. Nat...I can c u studied long and hard to learn all dat stuff. tanks for sharing it.

By finlander, painesdale on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 01:27 pm:

"Semper Fidelis" means "always faithful", the motto of the US Marine Corps. There are no "ex-Marines", once a Marine always a Marine is the belief. Kudos to all the US military.

By SarahK, Mi on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 01:28 pm:

Some scientists we are...seems like we'd be pulling trucks from under a broken bridge to weigh them to see how much the broken bridge couldn't hold or you might find us standing still in a red overcoat in front of a bull to see if we don't get attacked.

By Steve, Warrenville, Il. on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 01:28 pm:

For directions to Powerhouse, and other L'Anse area falls see Tracey at the Barage County visitor's center, just down the hill from the Hilltop Restaurant. By the way, does anyone know of good restaurants in the Ontonogan/Silver City area? (kind of like the Ambassador or Toni's?)I am fine tuning plans for a fall trip.

By Audrey, San Jose, CA on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 01:43 pm:

Thanks, Steve, Warrenville! Should I get my sweet roll before or after seeing Tracey??

By Flower Neophyte, IL on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 02:16 pm:

Does anyone know what the name of the flower/bush the monarch butterfly is on in today's picture? Or in Z-man's picture? I'm starting a garden in the spring, and I'd love to plant something to attract the butterflies.

By MurphySurf MI on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 02:31 pm:

Mrs Monarch Butterfly lays her eggs on the underside of the leaves on a milkweed plant.
This site is useful:
Also I think the Z-Man has a Monarch in his picture and the pix on the top of this posting might be a Viceroy Butterfly (Limenitis archippus) because of the cross veining in the wings. (see the above site)
Maybe Dr Nat can help us solve this problem.

By The Z-Man on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 02:31 pm:

RE: Flower it's a Asclepias

By Karen.... on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 03:18 pm:

downstate don, just got home today. I have so much to talk about, but gotta get rested up first. We were in Milford for the last two/three days. The weather was beautiful there. It's gotta be 90 here today. We flew in and out of Flint and put 2,000 miles on the rental. We ran into a gentleman and his family in Munising. They were from Waterford...thought it might be you at the falls there.

By Flower Neophyte, IL soon UP on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 03:23 pm:

Thanks MurphySurf and Z-Man! Next question - is there a nursery in the Copper Country where I could buy any of the Asclepias (Milkweed Plant) varieties early next spring to plant in my new garden in "God's Country"?

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 03:25 pm:

Audrey: You get two cinnamon rolls and give one to Tracey. We're always gifting her with food! (If you don't she might steer you the wrong way.)

By Roudy Mi on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 03:32 pm:

Bite my tongue

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 03:44 pm:

That's a beautiful butterfly... But the lifespan... 2 to 14 days? I'm glad I'm human! (Smirk).

By dm on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 03:45 pm:

The local yard and garden stores here in Illinois sell Butterfly bushes....I have each of pink,red, and white which attract numerous butterflies.

By Dr. Nat in Nevada on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 03:57 pm:

I believe you are right about the butterflies. Z-Man's is a monarch and the one on today's PastyCam is a viceroy. My understanding is that viceroys have a black vein running through the bottom wings. Also, a monarch has a few orange spots on its upper wings whereas a viceroy only has white spots. However, I am NOT an expert on bugs, but I do work at a University with something close to 150 science faculty; one of them must be a bug expert. I have to go over to the Biology Department later today anyway, so I'll see if I can get a definite answer then.

By Jeff in Houston on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 04:05 pm:

When I was a boy in the southern thumb area, my Grandpa paid us to pull milkweed plants out of the soybean fields. We would raise some of the caterpillars as pets feeding them all the milkweed they could eat. Now I live in Houston and raise a variety of milkweed called "Mexican milkweed". My son and I raise Monarchs year round on these plants. It really is great fun, and I always point them towards Michigan when they fly away in the spring.

By Audrey, San Jose, CA on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 04:47 pm:

Marsha... I'll make sure we bring Tracey a cinnamon roll and I'll tell her that I was instructed to do so on the Pasty Chat! I want HER job!!

By Capt. Paul in Nevada on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 05:16 pm:

I think "Dr. Nat in Nevada" should be the science consultant for Pasty.Net, even though she used to live in Calumet a month ago, hehe!!!!!!!

By Ahmeek Cliff Dweller on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 05:32 pm:

Flower Neophyte, I just found a really great greenhouse called DeVoe's World. It is in Tamarack City and his e-mail address is: I'm sure you can get directions to the greenhouse from him. I bought a beautiful hydrangea and a purple butterfly bush, they're quality and at good prices. He's got some rather exotic and unusual plants there.

By downstate don on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 06:36 pm:

So many good much good talent. It is
a pleasure to look at them.

By Jeff Saginaw on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 06:53 pm:

The butterfly pictured is a Viceroy (Monarch lookalike). It has been suggested that the Viceroy evolved into the appearance of the Monarch as a defense mechanism against predators. The Monarch is bitter tasting and is not a food source to birds. Certainly an interesting theory

By Anita from the U.P. on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 07:24 pm:

Thank you Dr. Nat!! I have always wondered how someone could tell what other species can see. I appreciate your input. I also loved your comment......about "going to school for a long long time to learn all this stuff"!! Stuff is good to know!

I also find it comforting to see a butterfly after last weeks posts paying tribute to Dan Urbanski. I am a hospice volunteer and butterflies are often used in hospice as a symbol that life doesn't end here. In fact there is a quote that I love: "What the caterpillar calls the end of the world.....the Master calls a butterfly." How fitting to see this beautiful butterfly.

By Nancy Nelson on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 08:03 pm:

Wonderful photo---I'm jealous.

By Lyn Rayrat on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 08:16 pm:

Thanks for all of your comments on my photo.

Just Curious- You asked the nationality of my last name, it is German.

By flyin troll......... on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 08:24 pm:

Point Pelee is Monarch ground zero.........enjoy

By Pat & Glenda K on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 09:45 pm:

Do not think the plant is "Asclepias
syriaca", the common milkweed...first thought was "Aesclepias incarnata", or Marsh Milkweed...but now think it is one of the Eupatoriums..possibly Joe-pye of all Milkweeds are very peculiar, and close look seems to eliminate them...Monarch larva feed on milkweeds, but adult butterflies feed on all sorts of flowers...

By DAN on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:09 pm:


By Frank, St. Charles IL on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 11:50 pm:

Steve/Warrenville, the AmericInn in Silver City (used to be Best Western) had a good restaurant and salad bar. Haven't been there since the change to AmericInn but in a month we'll know more. ;-)

There's also a nice little "homey" restaurant across the street and west a couple of hundred feet.

By Lyn R on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 12:19 am:

Antonios Restaurant in White Pine

By Wayne Grand Haven Mi. on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 07:07 am:

I thought I would be first post, but I guess maybe I can be last

By danbury; germany on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 12:13 pm:

Sorry, Wayne!;)
Lyn - you sure? What part of G.? Just doesn't "feel" german to me ...

By Lyn R. on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 01:38 pm:

danbury, germany: I am sorry my last name does't "feel" German to you, lol. I don't know what to tell you! What does my last name sound like to you? Maybe you can do a little investigation and come up with the answer! Maybe my mothers maiden name, Dettloff will "feel" German to you.

By Lyn R on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 01:58 pm:

Danbury: To know what part of Germany you will need to conduct a seance. My fathers parents died when he was very young! Things that make you go hmmmmmmmm..... Peace

By walter p tampa on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 05:54 pm:

the last to come out make the trip to mexico jeff you are right

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