Halloween Monarchs

I spotted a Monarch Butterfly on my Chaste Tree yesterday.  I was worried since I hadn’t seen many lately.  We’ve had a lot of rain in our parts recently.  Hopefully, now that the sun has returned to North Texas, I’ll be seeing more.  I always look forward to the fall Monarch Migration.  It gives me hope to see the mighty Monarch hanging on despite possible endangerment.  For me, the sight of those black and orange wings signals a beginning to fall, and all the festivities that go with it.

Because it’s fall, and Orange and Black are deemed Halloween colors, the Monarch reminds me of my own short and chilling tale of woe involving a butterfly.  Butterflies creep me out a little.  I know it’s wierd.  That dosen’t mean I don’t love them;  I think they’re beautiful. But those tissue thin wings and long spindley legs kinda make my skin crawl.  I like to look at them and observe them – just don’t make me touch one!  I blame this on a childhood memory. (If you’re squeemish, you might want to skip over the next paragraph.)

Verbena and Swallowtails fabric from Spoonflower

My sister and I were collecting insects for a school project.  One afternoon, we proudly caught a large, beautiful Swallowtail butterfly.  We carefully mounted it with pins thru it’s body inside the display box and closed it.  The box was the plain cardboard kind with a lid that kept light out and the dead insects inside.  Later that day, we removed the lid from the box to examine our treasures.  To my great horror, when the box was opened, the majestic and gorgeous butterfly was alive and flapping its wings, pinned down amongst it’s dead cousins.  I was horrified! During the excitement over our catch, we had failed euthanized the helpless creature well enough! Watching that poor creature still alive, flapping frantically in distress (and what I imagined was pain) mortified me! We had to grab the butterfly by it’s wings, pull it out – pins and all – and toss it into the killing jar again to put it out of it’s misery.  All the time I was was trying not to throw up and cry. To this day, I can’t touch a butterfly or moth without getting chills up and down my spine.

Monarch Majesty Spoonflower Collection

Childhood memories aside, I greatly enjoy watching the butterflies in my garden at home.  I like to venture out to the Chaste Tree, braving the buzzing bumble bees, to see the wonders that have alighted on it’s branches.  I’m always delighted by the butterflies and lady bugs I find.  The colors of the Monarchs and Swallowtails are amongst my favorites.  In an effort to preserve the luminous oranges and flashy black and whites of Monarch, I created a Spoonflower collection. These are my favorite designs by myself and other designers that feature the butterfly.  As a whole, the collection makes a beautiful combination of colors and patterns.  Those vibrant oranges are perfect for fall! I would like to make a cheater quilt from these some day.

Happy Fall Y’all! 🙂

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