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Butterflies & Moths

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2001

    Helpful, Well-Organized Introductory Identification Guide

    As I write this review, there is a blizzard raging outside the bedroom. How pleasant it is to sit down and look at beautiful butterflies at such a moment! Over 170,000 varieties of butterflies and moths have been identified. The author estimates that an equal number remain to be identified in the future. How can a simple pocket book hope to cope? Mr. Carter has developed a solid concept for this helpful volume. He gives you a little bit of information about all the things that are most likely to be of interest. Then, as you become more knowledgeable, you can graduate to more extensive works and experiences. The bulk of the book is a field guide to 5 butterfly and 22 moth families that are most common throughout the world. Over 600 color photographs are contained here. In this way, you have a decent chance of identifying whatever is flying in your garden during the good weather. Each species is beautifully illustrated with the wings outspread and a map showing where the species is usually found. Some species also have illustrations of both sides of the wings, caterpillars and other distinctive views. Although moth varieties outnumber butterflies by about 9 to 1, the book wisely displays mostly butterflies. The moths chosen rival the butterflies for their wonderful designs and vibrant colorations. For those with a casual interest in the subject, the beginning will be especially valuable. Here you can find out about the differences between butterflies and moths, the details of the life cyles of these insects, how to best observe them, and tips for building a garden that will attract the largest possible population. I thought that last information was most worthwhile. At the end of the book are listed some of the many gardens you can visit that are populated by collections of living butterflies. I have found those to be remarkably good fun, and very relaxing. You have to slow down to enjoy butterflies. It's good for each of us to move at butterfly speed more often. The current edition was published in 2000, and contains corrections to the original 1992 edition so be sure to get this second edition. After you have finished enjoying this beautiful visit to nature's paintbrush and invention workshop, I suggest that you consider how else you can enjoy studying nature. For example, have you ever looked at flowers with a high-power magnifying glass? Like butterflies, they look quite different (and more wonderful) when you can see more details. Overcome your stalled thinking that you have to wait for a butterfly to cross your path before you can enjoy one! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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