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Book Reviews
The Magic of Butterflies and Moths
By: Steve Andrews / Moon Books / $11.95

Overview: Who can fail to be amazed by the transformation of a tiny egg into a caterpillar, then into a chrysalis, finally to emerge as a beautiful butterfly?

This seemingly magical process is the life cycle of every butterfly and moth and is one of the many wonders of nature that fascinated Steve Andrews when he was a child - and it still does to this day.

The Magic of Butterflies and Moths musingly explores the wonders of these marvelous winged insects and what makes them so magical.

Verdict: Reduce stress! Get exercise! Save the world! If you were not aware before, trust me when I tell you that Butterfly watching is a meditative experience that will lead to a better understanding of the natural world around you.

Thus, within The Magic of Butterflies and Moths: Butterfly and Moth Magic, author Steve Andrews invites us to come learn more about how to observe and attract butterflies to our own back yards and oh-so much more.

Nothing stands still in the constantly changing natural world. As we wander through forest, field or along mountain paths in summer the actual cycle that Nature represents, through flower, insect, bird and wildlife might go relatively unnoticed but the dramatic explosion of life that results from all their very particular activities certainly should not. Key players in summer are butterflies.

In fact, all 165,000 different species of them! The term Lepidoptera literally means wings with scales and the entire wing surface is covered with scales which contain pigments, the origin of colors and designs that characterize their appearance and make many of them easy to recognize. The exotic wings also play a crucial role in survival using sophisticated control strategies to warn predators of their toxicity.

Butterflies have a vital role to play in ensuring the multiplicity and variety of many other animals and plants and itís this coexistence of plants and pollinators that continues to guarantee the magnificent summer spectacle before our eyes.

I mean, the way author Steve Andrews puts it, if youíve never taken a photo capturing, at the very least, some of the fleeting kaleidoscope of color on display within their natural setting, youíve done your senses a huge disservice.

Inclusive of many black and white drawn illustrations of butterflies and moths, their transformations arranged and illustrated in a series of plates by various sources from the past, The Magic of Butterflies and Moths: Butterfly and Moth Magic is a glorious, and bountifully sculptured step-by-step guide of the transformation of a tiny egg into a caterpillar, then into a chrysalis, and finally emerging a beautiful butterfly.

This seemingly magical process is the life cycle of every butterfly and moth and is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most incredible wonders of nature.

In short, and in closing, what is a comprehensive, albeit not overly long at just 63 pages read, what Andrews delivers is an understanding of how we can have, and moreover enjoy a friendlier relationship with these magnificent insects, and where in a world when such insects are on the notable decline, hopefully this impassioned book can teach us all to connect/reconnect with even the smallest of things around us.

About The Author - Steve Andrews is a man of many talents. He is a writer, a journalist, a singer-songwriter, a poet and a naturalist who has contributed to many publications including Kindred Spirit magazine. He is also known as the Bard of Ely and Green Bard. Born in Cardiff, Wales, Steve now lives in Sesimbra, Portugal.

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