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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Butterflies Flitting By

Some people are as flighty as a butterfly. They flit in and out of our lives at random moments chosen only by them. We always welcome them, because they are beautiful and rare, and we like them. But then no sooner than they flit in, they also flit out, and all we can think to say is: "Where did that butterfly go?"

We had a nice fourth of July weekend. There was corn on the cob to enjoy.

Bow absolutely adores corn on the cob.

He is always happy to have some,

My daughter and I attended a local fair that featured carnival rides, concession stand food, country music and fireworks.

And just in time for the fourth of July, we had a special visitor. It was a primatolagist that we have seen often in the past, and she came to spend some time with our family, which was very, very nice of her. She even went in with Bow, and he enjoyed her company very much. She gave me permission to film her, but not to publish the filming, because she said she had to ask permission from  the "board" about that. So instead of a picture of her, I am posting this shot of a flitty butterfly that led me on a merry chase as I was trying to mow the back yard this morning

This red spotted purple teased me this morning
The butterfly kept popping in and out of the backyard, flying circles around me, teasing -- almost taunting me -- in one moment and out the next.

It was a red-spotted purple -- limentis artemis asytyanax -- and in its appearance it mimics a pipevine swallowtail, though it can also be mistaken as any other dark swallowtail. But it's not a swallowtail at all. It's just pretending.

A closer look at the 
In and out of the yard it flew, letting me see it in all its glory, but also letting me know who was the boss, "I don't need you at all," it seemed to be saying, while resting on the ground that belongs to me, because I have a deed,  or on the dayflowers that I allow to grow in my yard and could just as easily have mowed down.

"My work is valuable," said the butterfly. "I am important." And I, of course, do value it, enough to let it fly circles around me.

Up into the trees it flew, saying "try to catch me if you can!" And it did not seem to know that all I wanted was to capture its essence in a photo, while allowing it go about its business unharmed. Bow, seeing the butterfly acting so provocatively in his backyard, decided to display.

But the butterfly, happy as can be, determined it would be okay to let me film it. Up in a tree it went to perch, so that it would be visible but just out of reach.

After I had finished filming, the butterfly said: "You had my permission to film, but not to publish. Now I will have to consult with the butterfly board to determine what is the best possible use that can be made of this footage, for the sake of all butterflies everywhere."

I'm just kidding. The butterfly did not say that. Butterflies never consult with other butterflies about anything. They fly solo. They themselves determine what is best for them, and they never feel that anything they do should be dictated to them by the best interest of all butterfly-kind.

The day flowers by the generator

I can't imagine what it would be like to be answerable to a board for my every move --  to have to ask permission for each image I post of  Bow or of  a butterfly or a flower in my backyard! I am thankful for my right of free speech and free press, a right that only means anything if you happen to own a press and the land you live on and the animals that are a part of your life. There can be no freedom without ownership, and I love freedom. Isn't that what we were celebrating yesterday on the fourth of July?


  1. I think being a free agent is best. When it comes to flighty behavior, I have had my dose of it over the last month. I reconnected with an old pen pal, and then he wanted to chat on messenger. He would text me, and then just to say "oh so we would be comfortable" when we might meet in the future. Then he would still text me off and on, but sometimes he would say things that got me all excited. The next comment would be just to say something bland like "have a nice night". I cannot believe I got all worked up over a person who just flits in and out of my life per his schedule, and can say charming things when he feels like it. Once again I feel into unrequited interest for a person who probably is just being nice. It was confusing for me. But guess I just like people who fly in and out of my life.

    1. Hi, Julia. I know exactly what you are describing, and one of the things that make such behavior so maddening is that -- whether it's a romantic relationship or a business one or anything in between -- the person who flits in and out feels as if there is no misrepresentation involved, and often we rebuke ourselves for having unreasonable expectations and feeling cheated. But deep down inside our gut instinct tells us something is wrong.

      Trust your feelings. Such people exploit the fact that all interest in others is in fact one-sided by nature, and they are buying themselves many followers, while giving little in return.

      Popularity is power over others, earned by manipulating their feelings. Sometimes people are rightfully popular, because of the contribution they make to everybody's happiness. But there are other situations where people appear to be offering a lasting personal connection that would be two-sided, when they never intend to keep their side of the bargain. They are merely playing with our feelings. Or they want something for nothing.