I decided to take a walk through the meadow for today’s #NatureDoodlewash and look at the butterflies. I’ve always been fascinated with these creatures. They’re such a wondrous sight, as if flowers grew tired of being planted all day and decided to say, “screw it! We’re out of here!” And the fact that they start out as a caterpillar is just even more amazing. Nature always has a plan and can really make some amazing transformations happen. That a strange little worm could turn into a beautiful flower gave me much hope and comfort during my awkward teen years.

As a kid, it seemed that butterflies were everywhere. Monarchs would be sailing through the air, fresh from their winter vacations in Mexico. But sadly, there are fewer of them today and there’s even been talk of extinction. Luckily they’ve rebounded some this year, but the human obsession for pesticides is still causing numbers to decline. I hope the butterflies will survive us. I can’t imagine a world without them. They are such an elegant reminder of the beauty nature creates in the world.

I’ve never really studied chaos theory, but I like the general idea of the “butterfly effect” – that small causes can affect large change. Some days, life seems like a celebration and other days it seems like nothing went right at all. On those bad days, I think about the butterfly effect and hope that some tiny thing I did might have caused something really wonderful to happen somewhere else. In this place I imagine, the day feels like a celebration, and I’m somehow part of making that happen. Somewhere I’ve never been before, far across a meadow full of butterflies.

Join me throughout the month of June on a virtual nature hike! Show everyone what you love most in nature with a watercolor sketch or painting and tag your images #NatureDoodlewash so we can all enjoy it with you! I’ll create a featured artist gallery of our global hike at the end of the month! 

World Watercolor Month is coming in July! Click here to learn more!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Permanent Pale Green, Sap Green, Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Teal, Pyrrol Red and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

46 replies on “Butterflies In The Meadow

  1. How lovely! And what a treat it’d be to see two so close together… indeed, these days it’s a spectacle to just see one in the garden. I remember the days when we were overrun; there also used to be a butterfly farm on our seafront, which I think needs a revival! It’s the same as with the bees – our fault. Rooting for the flutterby.

    The whole caterpillar thing still blows my mind!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. you are a very special person Charlie! what a wonderful attitude and philosophy.🙂
    it would be lovely if more of us, were like That!
    your doodle is adorable with cobalt teal wings held aloft!🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Challenges….. gosh, yours is going swimmingly Charlie! 🙂 they are so cute.
        and, no matter what it is, the more you do the better you get. (I tell myself this all the time – for lots of stuff. bloody computers! LOL)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been noticing the butterflies lately – they are so carefree! 💜✨ I hope they survive as I can’t imagine not seeing them! Beautiful butterflies, Charlie! YAY! 😃🎨💕🌟🐛

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful painting Charlie. I’ve just restarted my herb garden and a couple of the plants are supposed to attract butterflies. I’ve got plans to turn the garden for the new house (once we’ve finished buying it) into a little haven for bees and butterflies. They are such a wonderful part of nature.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wonderful, philosophic and true, Charlie! Sometimes I hope that my own little “butterfly-effects” like buying organic food or riding a bike instead of a car may change a tiny bit. Sometimes when I read the news or see what comes out of a big factory-chimney I doubt it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How beautiful Charlie I love, love, love butterflies they are the symbol of, soul, love, beauty and freedom and I love their colors! I have a tattoo on my left foot that represent two butterflies one is above the ankle bone and one is a very detailed monarch and is on the neck of the foo,t connected with some swirls it is beautiful!😉 Your doodlewash is lovely you were able to capture the beauty of the butterflies fully!❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Butterflies are wonderful symbols for so many things, as well as being beautiful. I still see butterflies even in the city, but I remember seeing so many caterpillars as a child, and I think I’ve only seen one in recent years. And cocoons! Those were fun to find. Thanks for the reminder and smiles for those days Charlie. (K)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ironically, I just downloaded an old movie on my tablet, Papillon.

    My brother-in-law has been growing milkweed and successfully “raising” monarch chrysalis to monarch butterflies. Hes been doing this for years. We have been planting bee and butterfly “approved” perenials. Hoping to get some milkweed seeds soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The butterflies are gorgeous! I’ve been to a few butterfly gardens (Niagra Falls and Houston come to mind..) and I love how colorful they are. But unfortunately, my son hates going! He gets creeped out by the butterflies so we never get to spend much time there. LOL.

    So the butterfly flapping its wings won’t cause a hurricane in China or a tornado in Brazil, but I do believe in the idea behind the Butterfly Effect – small acts locally can change events globally.. Great post, Charlie!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh I missed this one! I love butterflies, you did a fine job Charlie🙂 I have a Monarch story for you….lol I hope I am not stealing your thunder. While my daughter and her husband were in Mexico, they decided to take a trip to see where the Monarchs over-winter. My daughter said that the trees (evergreen firs) were so heavy with butterflies that all the branches literally drooped low and were so thick, all she saw were butterflies. Also, with all the butterflies flapping their wings together you could actually hear it! I can’t even fathom that. There…..I just had to share another story.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Love your use of the ‘butterfly effect’ in a positive way, and the image of “a meadow full of butterflies” just makes my heart sing. Your gorgeous painting is the magic finishing touch to a wonderful post.

    Liked by 1 person

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