Notice even the tiniest of things


So it’s a butterfly. We’ve seen thousands of butterflies. They’re pretty, but quick. So even though we notice them often, have we really ever seen one?

That coiled up hose in the center of its face is its proboscis. It uncoils when the butterfly’s feet (yes, its feet– its taste organs are located at the ends of each of its six feet) detect the presence of food stuffs. Some butterflies have sharp proboscises so that they can puncture the skin of fruit to get to the juice inside. (Do you remember seeing a proboscis on a caterpillar? Nope, caterpillars have munchy little mouths.) Those huge compound eyes are great at detecting color and movement. The wings are made up of scales, somewhere between a fish’s scales and bitty hairs, protecting the wing and adding the unique patterns. The fascinating details of butterflies go on and on, and vary among the different types of butterflies.

Pausing to notice the details of the butterfly puts a larger question: How much are we really noticing day to day? What are we missing? What are we glossing over? What assumptions are we making? What are we generalizing about when really we need to go case by case?

What will we see better if we pause to take notice?


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