Friday, April 17, 2009

A Beautiful Relationship

I was out in the backyard last Monday. Spending time digging in the dirt and puttering around the yard is - as far as I am concerned - the perfect way to relax and recover from all of the time and energy that goes into putting on the Passion Play.

My little lawn tractor broke an axle last Fall. I had hoped to sell my house before I needed it again, but alas, the bad housing market is now making it where I'll have to get it fixed. (I guess I figured I could leave it as a present to the new home owners.)

All of that to say...

the early spring yard flowers (often known as weeds) are doing well this year since they haven't had to deal with my mower. So Monday afternoon I was on the back lot behind my creek and the yard there was filled with zebra butterflies flitting from flower to flower.

So why tell you about them here?

And why haven't you ever seen a field of flowers and zebra butterflies?

I'm glad you asked!

I'm telling you about it here because Zebra butterflies are a testimony to God's wonderful creativity and how His creation fits perfectly together.

You may have never seen them because there are certain conditions that have to be met for them to be around.

First off, they only live near pawpaw trees. You don't have a paw paw tree? Well, that's because they only live in the shade of other trees in "deep fertile bottomland and hilly upland habitat" .

Well, it just so happens I've got that right here on Bear Hollow.
My backyard - notice the barn (you can see the door here) way at the back at the foot of my mountain) The pawpaws are right behind the barn.

The pawpaw has a rather unassuming flower - a small brown/green bell that hangs from the branch. I understand that they make the largest fruit in North America, but I've never seen any of my pawpaws with fruit. I don't know if the birds and squirrels get them or if they just don't make at all.
Ends up that the leaves of pawpaws are a bit toxic to bugs that like to chew on trees, but not to the zebra butterfly caterpillar. And (I read a really long article with a whole bunch of really big words that I couldn't understand - but this is what I figured out) the toxicity of the pawpaw is retained not only in the larvae but in the butterfly too! Because of this, birds don't eat them. They know they taste bad.

I think it's just really incredible that Bear Hollow is perfect for pawpaw trees, pawpaw trees are the only thing zebra butterfly larvae eat, the pawpaw protects the butterfly and my yard is full of flowers that the butterfly loves and I have a digital camera and can capture it all for you to see!
It seems to me that it would take a whole lot more "faith" to believe that the pawpaw and zebra butterfly evolved into this relationship than to believe that God was having a lot of creative fun creating this beautiful and beneficial relationship.


Brenda said...

That is awesome! I will have to show this to my girls! One loves butterflies and one loves animal prints so she will love this butterfly! I have never seen one and I love the story! Also makes me remember that song we used to sing as kids, in elementary school. "Picking up Paw Paws, putting them in a basket..." I always used to wonder what a Paw Paw was! Althought that is what the kids called my Dad!
Thanks for sharing God's perfect plan in pictures!

Jean Levert Hood said...

What a beautiful creature!! And yes, I believe that the Creator, had a blast making all of these wonderful things for us. Great post, Lyndel, THank you!