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Butterfly Queens at Burning Man Arts and Music Festival

Dreams of the Last Butterflies, an upcoming epic short film.

Dreams of the Last Butterflies received over $36,000 in funding of which became one of Kickstarter’s top 10 most funded projects for a short film ever!

Dreams of the Last Butterflies is a unique vision with a powerful environmental message, full of wonder, dreams, and otherworldly performers. Combining cutting-edge cinematography, fantastical costumes, epic faerie-tale poetry, and a sizzling electronica soundtrack, it will feature stunning performances by tribal belly-dancers, ballet stars, fire masters, contortionists, and many more. Dreams of the Last Butterflies is a tale about the loss of butterflies in our world, and why they are disappearing – as told by the last Butterfly Queens themselves. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Zina Brown
The Butterfly Queens

The Butterfly Queens are going to Burning Man!

Burning Man is one of the world’s largest arts and music festivals, held annually in the Nevada desert.  It’s a truly incredible event, drawing nearly 60,000 people – they come together from all over the world to create a city of dreams that rises spectacularly from the desert floor.  What better place for all 7 of Butterfly Queens to appear with their majestic wings, dancing in a desert sunrise!

For those lucky enough to be attending the Burning Man Festival this year, be sure to remember this time:  Friday morning, August 30th, right at sunrise in front of this year’s amazing pyramid Temple of Whollyness.  This is the *only* moment of the event the Butterfly Queens will emerge briefly from the dream-world, to dance for everyone and share their magic, so you definitely won’t want to miss it! They will be arriving in truly impressive style – on the deck of a massive, absolutely incredible Steampunk Airship!!  The wonderful creators of the Airpusher’s Steampunk Airship have kindly offered our Butterfly Queens a ride to the Temple so they can reserve their energy for their dance.  So when dawn is about to break, keep an eye out for the beautiful Airship gliding across the playa, and you will see the Butterflies Queens aboard.

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Fairy Garden Lore… The Magic of Miniature Fairy Gardening

jamesbrown.net

Close your eyes tight

Sprinkle a little Fairy Dust

Now open them to a Childlike Reverie

Where each twilight twinkle

Is an invitation to dream

~K. D’Angelo

fairy boy courting large

fairy with dog and ballons

Fairies, Pixies or Sprites; it matters not what you call them, as almost every culture has discovered these Wee Folk existing just within the boundaries of their imagination.

Throughout the ages, Fays, as they were first named in western European folklore, have been sighted in the dreamy glens of our minds. Into every season these timeless Fancies fly, often bringing upon wing, acts of kindness and sometimes a bit of cheeky mischief too.

A basket of berries trifled with, freshly hung laundry unpinned or fragrant rose buds gone missing, all may be the doings of glittering yet elusive Imps.

Peek down a Fairy’s Path to glimpse a clever and fleeting Sprite slipping away on the back of a merry butterfly or keen-witted field mouse.

 

fairy picnic in the park

fairy picking apples

Although these tiny Echoes often engage in much tomfoolery, they are most inclined to charitable deeds. Showing up like rainbows during a storm, good-natured Fairies will tenderly attend a gentle Soul who is downtrodden.

Lavender garnished wreaths, chamomile teas or even sun-dipped honey dew might be left at the doorstep of one who has taken ill in hopes of delivering some healing cheer.

Adoring of youngsters, due to their pure and jovial ways, Fairies also delight in misting a magical sparkle which softly tickles little toeses and noses.

A babe’s mirthful laughter is to a Fae as nectar is to the bee, and it is said that every time a toddler giggles a Fairy is born.

A very special Fairy Dust, fashioned with Love, also carries musical blessings upon breeze.

These wind-whispered lullabies may be heard not only by children, but by all young-at-heart who truly Believe.

 

mushroom house fairy boy

 

fairy with tree wWhether celebrated or not, Fairies, have always lived on the edge of our realities and in the beds of our gardens too! Fairy Garden lore, it is thought, evolved overtime as our needs to either please or play with Mythicals came about.

Strolling the historical Fairy’s Path we see ethereal gardens of yore where mushroom inspired Fairy Rings became gateways to hidden realms.

Within these mysterious circles, tiny treasures of colored stones or perfumed petals were often lain to appease impish Elementals or beguile friendly Fairies.

 

 

 

 

fairy w frog

fairy resting on chairToday, just as in the past, Fairy Gardening spirits us to fanciful place of charms and wonder. Set out some miniature décor, petite garden plants and just a touch of whimsy to invite enchanted Fairies into your world.

A lavish and grand garden space is not necessary to build a Fairy Garden. In fact, Brownie folk are more partial to snug and nestled settings.

This means that whether you reside in town or country, flat or cottage, you can dream up and design your very own Fairy Garden.

There are no rules to follow when creating a Fairy Garden, except that it is essential you incorporate your most imaginative artistry.

Indoors, outdoors, in an over-sized teacup, flowerbed, wheel barrel or pot; Fairies will appear anywhere there is an abundance of romantic reverie to be found.

 

fairy picnic

fairy in ladleMiniature furnishings and garden foliage will enhance any Fairy Garden you might conjure.

Small appointments, such as, itty scalloped fencing and bitty stepping stones set the stage for a dwarfed land, where slight benches, gazebos and bistro sets are perfect settings for Pixies picnics. And what Nisse can keep from tinkering with teeny accessories.

Yeabig watering cans, birdbaths and gazing balls will entice many a Fairy into your garden.  Sprite’s curious and inquisitive natures simply will not allow them to resist such sweet trinkets.

Mini moss topped inns offer warmth to wee travelers who may sojourn your garden. Fun-wearied and plum worn out, they will blithely thank you for providing them such cozy shelters.

gnome in the garden

fairy in tea cup 2

Also complimentary to Lilliputian landscapes are miniature scaled garden plants.

Delicate foliage, such as fine shrubbery or lacy vines adorn any proper Fairyland.

Dainty but bright flora which serenades and bids a bonnie welcome to any winged passers-by is also a must.

Use Baby Tears Moss, Elfin Thyme and Mini Cranesbill to embellish your Fairy Haven.

Blue Star Creeper, Sweet Alyssum and Australian Violet are fair additions as well.

 

 

 

fairy sitting in garden

A Garden Borne of Love

Sunshine sweeps the garden goldDSC_2073 - Version 2

Awakening a symphony of treasure

Vibrant blooms burst rich arbor

Wind moves treetops in measure

Heaven winks glimmered light

Upon water frolicked stone

Angels hymn a fairied wing

In arrangement of butterfly flown

Breeze and chime divine song

Eden waltzes with verdant blue

Forever fancies a feathered chorus

Paradise is born of melodic hue

 

 

fairy dancing in garden

Peaceful and serene, Paradise calls to all light-hearted seekers of beauty and grace; children, young and old alike, woodland creatures; deer, bunnies, butterflies, birds, gnomes and fairies too!

Whether your Garden Haven be miniature or vast, it will always be divine when fashioned and sustained with Love…

fairy garden

A special thank you to M & M Nursery in Orange, CA for allowing me to photograph and post your darling fairy garden designs, and, also to artist James Browne for the inspiration and usage of his sweet illustrations! ~K. D’Angelo

fairy and bunny

Bonny that you stopped by… Please feel free to leave a comment…

Thanks for keeping the magic alive and Happy Fairy Gardening!

fairies on bridge

Watch our video and enjoy a magical journey through Fairyland!

COME TO FAIRY LAND VIDEO

fairy tea party with dog vertical

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The Story Of Chester ~ The Monarch Caterpillar

I was fortune to meet an inspiring woman who wrote an enchanting story about a monarch caterpillar she found in her back yard garden. Susie Vanderlip had planted milkweed. “I planted this… on a whim,” she says. “I had no idea it would bring me so much joy.”

In her backyard amongst the brightly colored milkweed flowers, she discovered, “Chester”, the monarch caterpillar. With a sense of purpose, she began to photograph and and document Chester’s amazing life cycle. She enjoyed watching Chester eat, and eat he did, with such determination and eagerness to thrive no mater what obstacles he encountered on his journey to become a butterfly.

Eat, Chester, eat!

The Story Of Chester

The Story Of Chester Book and DVD

The Story Of Chester, The Monarch Caterpillar is a wonderful way to introduce children to the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. Included with the book is a real-life video that entertains children and adults alike. It carries a wonderful message about life purpose, determination in the face of bullying and the concern for nature’s creatures. Click here to order your own Story of Chester with narrated live-action DVD movie available.

Meet Susie Vanderlip for a book signing, video preview and stories about Chester the monarch caterpillar on February 11, 2012 at the Discovery Science Center, Santa Ana, California.

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Madame Monarch’s Journey Home…

Madame’s Journey Home is a sweet tale of a Monarch Butterfly’s journey. The vivid and delightful pictures, illustrated by the author, will reach out and touch your heart! This is wonderful book, an inspirational story of Love shared with the world…

From the Author, Mariosa: Madame’s Journey Home is a children’s book filled with a powerful message of love and transformation. It is a true story of a woman and her son that found a Monarch butterfly on the eve of a killing frost. They named her Madame. She lived with them for three months and became part of their community.

This is the story of an amazing journey and a very special circle of life.

Madame’s Journey Home is available through Amazon.

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Old Garden Rose Preserves

Roses for Preserves

Gertrud Jekyll, Zepherine Drouhin and Reine des Violettes

Spring brings me a delicate flurry of butterflies and welcomes roses first blooms.

When I’m not tending to my butterfly obsession, I tend to my old garden roses which are blooming especially profusely this year. I wanted to make use of my heavenly scented old garden roses, something that would last all year long, something I could share with friends

I decided to make one of my favorite treats, Rose preserves.  To make this heavenly rose treat, be sure to use organically grown, heavily scented Old Garden, Antique, English or Heirloom Roses for the most divine rose fragrance and flavor. I use a combination of Gertrud Jekyll, Zepherine Drouhin and Reine des Violettes.

OLD GARDEN ROSE PRESERVES
3 1/2 cups rose petals (packed, white part at base of petal removed)
2 – 2 1/2 cup granulated sugar
juice of 1 lemon or lime

Pulse petals in the food processor and slowly add the sugar and lemon. Add more sugar or lemon if needed.

The preserves are so flavorful and gorgeous, they will take your breath away! Spread on biscuits, scones, crescent rolls, shortcake, dab on vanilla ice cream, cheesecake or cream brulee.  Rose preserves makes a wonderful filling for tea sandwiches, cookies and donuts too!

Rose Preserves

Rose Preserves

 

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Smoking Swallowtails? Dutchman’s Pipevine Butterflies gone wild…

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor) on Pink Saliva

A male pipevine swallowtail attempts to flirt with a female as she lays her eggs...

I recently visited a grove where the Pipevine Swallowtail’s host plant, the Dutchman’s Pipevine, grew vigorously. Here, in this shaded and otherwise peaceful wood, there was a state of butterfly pandemonium happening.

Male butterflies zealously chased female butterflies hoping to strike up a romance. The maternally driven ladies ignored the amorous males advances, and instead, tirelessly their laid eggs.

 

Female Pipevine Butterflies Laying Eggs

Other winged chaps spent their time attempting to defend their precious territories. Boldly these fellows chased their counterparts about the treetops, creating flashes of brilliant blue which rivaled the skies above. Stoic females continued to cooly oviposit, again, dismissing out of wing, the males showy displays.

The forest was a frenzy of flutter! Everywhere I stood I was bombarded by the scuttle of a wing. It was courtship chaos where no basking perch, nectar blossom nor host tendril was safe!

Are these Pipevine Swallowtail ingesting their host plant or smoking it?

The pipevine butterflies exhibited crazed mating and reproductive behaviors, as if they had all gone wild with passion. In no other species have I observed the sexes acting out their respective roles in such a fervent manner.

Made me wonder for a moment, if these swallowtail caterpillars had actually smoked, instead of ingested their host plant, the Dutchman’s Pipevine?

This hardy vine does, after all, as it’s name suggests, resemble a Dutchman’s pipe. When in bloom it flaunts, amongst it’s green-hearted foliage, oddly shaped flowers which form in an appearance similar to that of a dutchman’s pipe.

Dutchman's Pipevine (Aristolochia gigantea)

Male Pipevine on Purple Penstemon

Whatever the motivation, pipes or genetics, what was going on in the grove that day was nothing short of spectacular to behold for the butterfly enthusiast. Pipevine swallowtails are indeed vibrant and entertaining creatures at every stage of their development.

Years ago, when less exotic planting choices where available at local nurseries, people commonly grew Dutchman’s Pipevine in their gardens. Often they used it to cover and adorn porches, arbors and fences. Pipevine swallowtails could then be found more frequently in populated areas, even in urban neighborhoods.

To ensure the survival of this species be sure to plant Dutchman’s Pipevine somewhere in your yard. Keep Mother Nature’s show going! Support her dramatic and colorful productions. Then just sit back under your vine shaded porch, sway gently on your swing and enjoy the show… and your Pipe?… vine too! KD

Male Pipevine on Yellow Yarrow

Click the  Pipevine’s Wing below to learn more about this swallowtail…

Pipevine Swallowtail Wing

 

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A Drive-Thru Nature…

Burger, Fries & Some Nature Please…

Fast Food Joint

Hold The Mayo, Extra Butterflies!


Tiger Swallowtail on Plumbago

You don’t have to go far to experience the wonders of Nature, because, whether you notice them or not, they surround you everyday! I was reminded of this recently as I frequented one of my favorite fast food joints.

While sitting in the drive-thru, dreaming of french fries, I noticed a delicate tiger swallowtail sailing by. She glided carefreely past me and landed somewhere within a large patch of Plumbago.

Plumbago Blossoms

As I watched the swallowtail disappear into the foliage, the sweet n’salty fantasy of fries drifted from my mind and I began to think about where the butterfly had flown off to. What other creatures might be found hidden amongst the sapphire hues of the Plumbago plant?

Male Marine Blue

I mused over how many times I had sat in this same line, driven past this delightful spot, which was teeming with butterflies and other winged creatures, and had not even noticed it. Did others, who idled here, waiting to order their burgers and such, ever see it, I wondered?

With curiosity driving me, I cruised the drive-thru, parked my car, ate lunch, grabbed my camera and proceed to climb down a small slope to a spot where I could further explore this newly discovered smorgasbord of Nature. I was not to be disappointed!

Lady Bug

Waves of Marine Blues swirled about on afternoon breezes mimicking ocean currents. Opalescent n’ indigo males moved with soft n’ fair females. A Violet Dancer cut in. Blue-gray blossoms of Plumbago complemented the performers charming display of ebb and flow.

Violet Dancer Damselfly

A youthful praying mantis played camouflage with me. He turned his mysterious gaze my way for just a moment then vanished back into the verdant jungle from which he came.

Fiery Skippers quenched their thirst with candied nectar from cool blooms. The blazing red lady bugs who appeared failed to alarm them. Itty bitty Marine Blue caterpillars munched away at sea-colored petals as if to pay tribute to their namesake and an alabaster butterfly floated in like a tide of innocence.

Female Marine Blue

What appetite could not have been satisfied here, in Nature, where such a feast of diverse beauty was being offered? Having my fill and feeling most content, I began to head back up the hill towards my car, when one more irresistible course was served.

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Out from the meandering Plumbago arose the lovely swallowtail that had first caught my eye. She gracefully circled, then set down briefly upon a branch to rest.  As she affably perched, revealing her magnificent wings, I could not help but think of how she was reflecting back to me the delicious banquet of creation I had just been blessed enough to enjoy.   KD <

Young Praying Mantis

Skipper Sipping Nectar

Marine Blue Caterpillar

White on Plumbago

Big Mac,

Filet-O-Fish,

Quarter Pounder,

French Fries,  Icy Coke,

Thick Shakes,  Sundays &

Apple Pies….

Hmmm.. think I will take “Nature” the healthy choice instead!

Click the fast food clipart to learn more about California’s Butterflies,

(including Marine Blues) and download informational PDFs for free.

Bon Appetite from OWB!



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