I have always loved butterflies. They are so intricately made and the colours of their wings are often breathtaking. I remember as a child in Mount Beauty, Mum grew swan plants in our yard to attract the Monarch or Wanderer Butterfly. We caught glimpses of these gorgeous winged creatures and then followed their entire life cycle on and around our swan plants. We saw their tiny eggs, then four days later we would see amazing yellow, black and white striped caterpillars appear. After about two weeks the caterpillars would be fully grown and they would attach themselves to twigs using silken threads and transform themselves into chrysalis’. The chrysalis was an unusual pale blue-green colour with a band of black and gold spots around the thicker end with spots of gold at the lower end. Over the next ten days we would see the chrysalis change in colour and slowly we would see the blacks, whites and oranges of the adult butterfly begin to appear. We couldn’t wait to see the butterfly emerge from the chrysalis. Initially the newly emerged butterfly would just sit on the twig with wet crumpled wings, unmoving. I used to watch with fascination the blood being pumped throughout the wings and see these gorgeous coloured ‘fans’ unfurl. Only when the wings were fully unfurled would the butterfly fly away. My parents’ slides contain many photographs of these memorable events. Butterflies, insects and other creepy – crawlies delighted me so much that at University I studied Entomology and managed to create a rather large insect collection, which I have to this day. Now, of course I love to paint these wonderful creatures and I praise God with every brush stroke for His amazing Handiwork.