Tattered Wings: Still Flying

Mama Nature is quietly teaching me another lesson.

I have been chasing butterflies, you see.

Not all of them are beautiful and perfect.

img_2900

Many have tattered wings.

img_3424

They still fly like the rest.

img_3418

They have survived some damage.

Maybe a lizard’s bite, or a spider web’s tether or a hungry bird’s claws or beak.

Maybe they were battered by a storm.

img_3356

They have lost pieces of themselves that will never grow back,

but they are still flying.

img_3666

fLOWer

Chasing Butterflies

If you are not crazy yet, try chasing butterflies.

I am not talking about the sweet Swallowtails.

IMG_3421

They soar purposefully in the direction of their destination

then land on a flower and spend hours eating and ignoring everything else.

IMG_3423

I am also not referring to the beautiful Buckeyes

IMG_3558
Common Buckeye/ Junonia coenia

who flit like twirly leaves before landing on a sedum to spend the day.

IMG_3451
American Lady/ Vanessa virginiensis

Nor the American Lady which stays put, but seldom opens her wings for a peek at their upper-side colors.

IMG_3477

Not the tiny little Gray Hairstreak either, with its tail appendages that move like antennae.

IMG_3644
Gray Hairstreak/ Strymon melinus

Not even the Cloudless Sulfur that zig zags around and then lands on green things so you can’t find it.

img_3344
Cloudless Sulfur/ Phoebis sennae

The “pic-tease” of the butterfly world is the Monarch.

It has played my like a paparazzi this week.

IMG_3323
Monarch/ Danaus plexippus

On Sunday I quietly stalked it for sometime, then shamelessly ran down the drive after it.

When I finally came to my senses and returned to the  house to fold laundry,

it coasted across in front of my bedroom window and looked in.

IMG_3326

On Monday  I took a photo break to give the neighbor’s dog a bone.

I looked out the front door as I closed it to see the Monarch glide across the porch.

Who’s zoomin’ who?

IMG_3330

This game went on for days until finally, it settled itself for a few precious minutes on some garlic blooms.

It stayed just long enough for me to snap a few, not-so-great photos.

I am glad the Monarch is savvy.   I fear for its future.

It’s a long way to the forests of central Mexico and much of its forest has been logged or blown down by storms.

I love all butterflies, but the tricky little Monarch has a special place in my paparazzi heart.

FLOWER

 

 

 

 

 

I Found Gold!

I was out in my yard with my camera, as usual.

Something shiny caught my eye on the leaf of a Flying Saucer.

IMG_3221

A speck of gold, dazzlingly brilliant on this drab day.

IMG_3235

A 14 carat gold nugget perched on a leaf, just waiting to be plucked off and pocketed by little, old me.

I couldn’t believe my eyes, so I snapped a photo.

IMG_3240

As I reached for it, it scampered around to the underside of the leaf.

The nugget had antennae and legs!  A tiny, shiny alien on my flying saucer.

IMG_3250

My gold was running away.   It was alive!

A Golden Tortoise beetle/ Charidotella sexpunctata.

It climbed onto my arm.  “Come to mama.” I cooed.

IMG_3257

It spread it’s golden wings and flew away.

Fame and fortune are fleeting fantasies.

I’d better just stick to my flowers.

Follow the flying fortune!