Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A love affair with blue butterflies

The rumbling of thunder shakes the ground.
A badly needed rain is upon us.
Through the window, the trees sway— heavy leaves waving graceful arcs against the white sky.
Beyond them, the field of butterflies.

I pull a book from my shelf, a favorite from years ago, perhaps when it all began.
Of blue butterflies scattered across spatter-painted pages.
And rain, again.

I followed one yesterday, an Eastern Tailed Blue, until it came to rest on a low leaf in the field of goldenrod. Her gossamer wings and dainty tail shone bright in the evening sun.

How I love the blues of summer.
The tender flowers that hide from the heat of the day in shades so inviting and cool.

And the blues of the butterflies—caught for a rare moment, then held coyly behind folded wings.
As pieces of sky, to earth fallen.

Still the question lingers from the painted page before me, so simple, yet long lasting.
"Where does the butterfly go when it rains?"

From Wikipedia:

The Lycaenidae are the second-largest family of butterflies, whose members are also called gossamer-winged butterflies. They constitute about 40% of the known butterfly species. The family is traditionally divided into the subfamilies of the blues, the coppers , the hairstreaks and the harvesters.

Where does the butterfly go when it rains by May Garelick, illus. Leonard Weisgard, Young Scott Books, New York, 1961.

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bobbie said...

Beautiful post, Nina, and beautiful pictures.
I must find that book.

nina said...

The original edition has gone out of print, sadly. More recently, it has been republished with a different illustrator, and bolder, brighter artwork.
But, to me, the magic is in the blue.

Used book dealers may carry the blue edition--for quite a price.

dguzman said...

It's so cool to watch those little guys when they perch. They rub their wings together--my theory when I was a kid was that they were making more "powder" for their wings (you know the cells that come off when you touch one). What are they doing?

I want to catch them with their wings open and get a pic, but they don't open them that often unless they're flying, it seems.

Lynne said...

I'm smiling over my coffee this morning. It was a night of little sleep for me but this post was cool and soft and soothing- just what I needed!

Razor Family Farms said...

This post had me smiling, too. So many memories! My favorite aunt would read that book to me when I was a little girl. Booktime was also bathtime and I can still remember listening to that book and staring at the butterfly wallpaper in her bathroom and waiting for them to suddenly come to life and fly off the wall and surround me like I was Snow White or something.

What a great post.



possumlady said...

Blues are my absolute favorite colors in nature, from butterflies to chicory to the bully bluejays. Beautiful blues and beautiful post.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Fantastic post..

Anonymous said...

I love the blue, but I also love the speck of contrasting color at the bottom of the butterfly's wings.

Q said...

Dear Nina,
The blues are also some of my favorites. They are so tiny. Spring and Summer Azures are sweet as are the Eastern Tailed Blues.
A charming book...
Lovely post.

PJ said...

Waht a lovely post. When I see something like this it makes me stop and take a deep breath, look around and see all the beauty and wonder around me.

Mary said...

Your writing is so soothing Nina. Have you written a book yet? If not, start now.

nina said...

Delia--I have NO idea why they do that except to say it seems to be in response to sunlight--perhaps it's a heat issue? Hmmm.

Lynne--yes, I find blues cool and soothing, too.

Lacy--I think its neat to have memories come to life in an instant.

Possumlady--I always used to say my favorite color was blue because it was "pretty." Now I think it's blue because it's an uncommon find, at least in summer. (not counting the sky!!)


Dcup--aren't they gorgeous little things? They're usually passing me so quickly, I was thrilled to catch them on camera and be able to watch longer (and closer!)_

Q--I'm always so envious of your butterfly photos--wish I could REALLY get a blue to pose for me!

pj--me too!

Mary--nope, no book to the presses yet! I honestly think that when you set an expectation for somehting, it loses its magic.
Few people can turn a "hobby" into a job and still love it the same way.
I'd almost be afraid to try!

pink dogwood said...

I just love the chicory flowers. I admire them on the roadside on my way to work everyday, and everyday I think that I must stop by and take a picture - I am so glad someone did.

Anonymous said...

Great post. It's easy to see why you love these beautiful butterflies so much.

Tommy V said...

great post. The picture are so pretty.

Kathiesbirds said...

Nina, beautiful as always, I love your words as much as your photography. That is why I want to invite you to submit a blogpost for "I and the Bird #82." I am hosting this carnival on my blog for August 21st. I've posted the announcement there and what I am looking for. I am sure something you have written or will write will be perfect! Just email me the link to your article before August 20 so I can work it into my blogpost. I hope you will participate!

BTW, I tried to email you from the link on your profile page but it didn't work.

Kerri said...

Another wonderful post! I have seen these little guys around here a lot....they are lovely!
You've captured him well!

Margaret Cloud said...

Your pictures are beautiful, I love nature and get out in it as much as possible. You are right disagreeing with one another is stimulating, you post a blog nicely.