Lucky SMK Photo to have encountered this bevy of beauties gathering for the winter at Ardenwood Park, in Fremont, California. And it begs the question, what is a group of butterflies called? Collective nouns for animals are a curious quirk of linguistics; more folksy than scientific, they are nonetheless evocative and poetic – why should all animals be relegated to a world of flocks and herds?
Butterflies seem to have inspired a whole host of group names, including the following:
Although Shakespeare might argue that a name is irrelevant ... "What's in a name? that which we call a rose/By any other word would smell as sweet" ... I'd say that when nature is disappearing before our very eyes, it can and should be elevated by twists of language and a dash of poetry. And so a kaleidoscope of butterflies it is.
Would you like to see your nature photo featured as the TreeHugger photo of the day? Join TreeHugger’s Reader Photo Pool on flickr and add your pictures to the group.