To associate butterflies with that quivery feeling in your gut when you are about to give a public performance or speech is rather unfair. Butterflies symbolize rebirth, inner beauty come into fruition, and good results from humble beginnings. To think such a gorgeous, lighter than air creature could emerge from an ugly brown cocoon or was once a creepy crawly caterpillar boggles the mind. It reminds us miracles can happen, and that life circumstances can change.

Did you know that in Mandarin, the word butterfly means “of seventy years” and symbolizes long life? In Japan, if a butterfly flits into your bedroom and sits on the bamboo screen, it means your true love is coming. The ancient Greek word for butterflies comes from the same root as psyche or soul/mind. Even for us modern, scientific-oriented folk, the sight of a brightly colored butterfly darting from flower to flower makes us smile. The simple beauty of the sun shining through their wings catches our attention and warms our inner beings like being wrapped in a towel straight from the dryer.

Butterflies are often the subject of art. In fact, the butterfly has been found in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics estimated to be over 3500 years old. In the Mayan culture it was common to have butterflies carved into the temple walls or to be depicted on incense burners. The Aztecs also had butterfly symbols. Monarchs are a sign that spring weather is not far behind, and their thousands of miles migrations each year from the Caribbean up through Mexico into the United States and Canada are nothing less than miraculous.

To many, butterflies are considered feminine, perhaps because they are so airy and graceful. They adorn jewelry and little girls’ ribbons. They are a popular spring pattern on children’s clothes, and in wispy curtains and bed linens. But, guys can appreciate the butterfly as well when captured in art.

One way is through the art of photography. In a monochromatic room, a picture of a butterfly, especially a black or white one which brings out the different textures and light, can be just the right focal point. Even color shots of tree nymphs which are almost zebra patterned can work. Some of the swallowtails, whose wings are mostly in browns and blacks, can still appear masculine if they are captured correctly with the camera. If you need a pop of color to match cushions or vases, a photograph of a butterfly on your wall may be just the added touch you need to complete the room’s look. To view some excellent photographs of butterflies for any décor, go to