We haven't actually seen many butterflies so far this year, in fact today I have seen none.
But Day 8 is not about the creatures themselves but rather an extraordinary woman who helped us all to understand them better. Having spent far too long in the car and time being very tight, Day 8 of 30 Days Wild is limited to a little history lesson.
Up until a few weeks ago I had never heard of Maria Sibylla Merian. I suspect many haven't, but thanks to "Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls"; a book we recently bought for our daughter, she is now a well known name in the family and Emma's bed time story for 8 Days Wild.
Born in Germany in 1647 Maria Sibylla Merian was a naturalist, an accomplished illustrator and the first person to detail how butterflies and moths develop from caterpillars through metamorphosis. In 1699 - amazingly for a woman of her time - she was able to go to to Suriname where she spent nearly two years travelling and drawing the local flora and fauna.
In 1705, she published a book Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium about the insects of Suriname, a work which was accepted and respected by scientists.
Prior to this, her work (and botanical and insect drawings) had been popular but, not having been in latin they didn't carry the scientific weight to enable her theories to be widely accepted. A remarkable woman, indeed!