The plants and animals around us seem so ordinary, but they all are so extraordinary, the extraordinary becomes ordinary simply because of their numbers.  But if you expanded the sample space to include the entire solar system, what we have in earth’s biosphere should astonish everyone.  Here are some notable fellow creatures.

1.  Monarch butterflies: You can raise Monarchs in your garden.  Loretta Downs does it, and told her experience on PhysOrg.  The article speaks of “the miracle of the monarch,” its “unlikely story,” its “stained-glass wings of orange and black with drips of white,” and “themost uncanny butterfly with so much wisdom tucked deep inside its jade-green chrysalis, the transformation chamber that dangles from a leaf, where striped caterpillar unfolds into winged beauty, catching drifts of wind.”
Poetic excess?  Not for her.  “It’s a mystery, and we don’t get so close to these kinds of mysteries,” says Downs.  “To watch this unfolding, it’s a miracle. There is no better symbol for transformation, for the mystery of death” that metamorphoses into “something altogether new” – a rebirth.  She finds it a healing, comforting experience to watch her butterflies.
Monarchs are featured in the new Illustra Media documentary Metamorphosis, to be released on DVD June 15 and on Blu-Ray on July 6.

2.  Flowering plants: PhysOrg “What makes leaves sprout in the spring?”  In Canada a few weeks ago, trees were barren, but now they are bursting with buds.  There’s a transformation you won’t find on Mars or Venus….

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