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.


Many have tattered wings.


They still fly like the rest.


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.


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

but they are still flying.



Chasing Butterflies

If you are not crazy yet, try chasing butterflies.

I am not talking about the sweet Swallowtails.


They soar purposefully in the direction of their destination

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


I am also not referring to the beautiful Buckeyes

Common Buckeye/ Junonia coenia

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

American Lady/ Vanessa virginiensis

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


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

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.

Cloudless Sulfur/ Phoebis sennae

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

It has played my like a paparazzi this week.

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.


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?


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.







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.


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


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.


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.


My gold was running away.   It was alive!

A Golden Tortoise beetle/ Charidotella sexpunctata.

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


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!