Breathtaking Butterflies: Background information when reading Night of Fire

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Night of Fire

by Colin Thubron

Night of Fire by Colin Thubron
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  • Published:
    Jan 2017, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Zoƫ Fairtlough

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Breathtaking Butterflies

Night of Fire frequently references butterflies, often ethereal, almost infinite in variation, and miraculous in their metamorphosis: "...the butterfly's resurrection was different: the winged angel risen from a worm...It showed that anything could become anything." It's as though Thubron wants to remind us time and again that we can change, we don't have to be worms.

The word butterfly literally means a fly that's attracted to butter. A German name, "milchdieb," means milk-thief. In places where ancient farming methods are still practiced, it's not uncommon to find butterflies hovering over buttermilk left to settle.

Here are but five of the many butterfly species that appear in the book:

Glasswing butterfly Glasswings (Greta oto) are ethereal creatures, their wings fully transparent except for the brown borders. The "glass" winged look is because the tissue between the veins lacks colored scales. Although they look fragile, the wings are quite robust, enabling the Glasswing to fly up to ...

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