Skipper sticks its tongue out at me.

As I’ve gotten more absorbed in the world of butterflies, I’ve started seeing their faces. It’s so easy to focus on the gorgeous wings of a butterfly — indeed, that’s what nature means for you to do, either as a warning of toxicity or an advertisement for butterfly sexy time. But as I’ve poked my lens ever closer at them, I’ve begun to notice the weird and often hilarious expressions of their faces.

Painted Lady looking overcaffeinated.

And strictly speaking, butterfly faces are not what you might consider attractive, particularly when compared with those gorgeous, patterned wings.

What? What’d I do?

In that way I see the butterflies as reflections of ourselves. To the world we try to show our brightly-colored, graceful wings, but so often the most real parts of us are awkward, neurotic, and fearful-looking. But that’s where the real riches are found, in looking at the insecure and gawky places that we’d rather ignore, and seeing the tenderness there.

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