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Sorry, Henry July 4, 2016

Posted by stinawp in Uncategorized.

After listening to The Invention of Nature, I discovered that the library has Walden as an audiobook and read/listened to it for the first time. I’m a little ashamed to admit that, but that’s not why I’m apologizing to Thoreau. After a discussion of food and what he ate in his cabin, he moves into a metaphysical tangent about how the most spiritual and intellectual people eat very little. He backs this up with a natural history lesson about how caterpillars eat ‘voraciously’, but ‘perfect’ adult butterflies “content themselves with a drop or two of honey”. Ironically for someone who observed nature so frequently, he got this idea from a book: Kirby and Spence’s An Introduction to Entomology. And Kirby and Spence were flat-out wrong:

PV16 06-25-2016 (28544)

This is several butterflies “puddling” on a run-over frog. Butterflies will also drink from rotting fruit, bird poop, urine, and (maybe less objectionably as far as people are concerned) sweat and wet earth.

In short, the idea that butterflies just drink nectar from flowers is nothing more or less than…



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