Friday, August 22, 2008

Green Sanctuary

This wounded Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)) was fluttering about in the lane this morning when I walked slowly down the hill toward the main gate. Its wings were torn and tattered, and it was in constant feeble motion, agitated and fluttering hopelessly toward the quieter verges, the waving stands of Queen Anne's Lace and the cool deep green shadows of the woods nearby.

My heart went out to it, and the only thing to do in the circumstances was to carry the swallowtail to a comfortable place, to shade, shelter and green sanctuary. I extended a bit of poplar, and the butterfly climbed weakly aboard, hanging on like a tiny battered sailor clinging to the floating wreckage of a sunken ship. Off we went together, into the peaceful silence of the Two Hundred Acre Wood, and I set my little friend down in a safe place.

I don't think the swallowtail is going to survive, but it would be a lovely treat to find it alive and vibrant in the morning.

6 comments:

One Woman's Journey said...

The butterfly is beautiful.
The way you described your care reminded me of a time years ago that someone extended their hand to me and I was able to hang on. It was like clinging to a floating wreckage of a sunken ship. I made it. It would be wonderful if your butterfly made it.
Strange that your words brought this memory to mind.
Blessings to you this late afternoon.

Beverly said...

My granddaughter saw a butterfly that was quite sick...It would fly, but, not very high. I made up a tale that I thought maybe he was just learning to fly. I could tell she did not want to know he was dying.

Rain said...

What a beautiful thing to do. All creatures great and small

Nancy J. Bond said...

A great act of kindness. I hope it survives as well...it's beautiful.

Sky said...

it was quite lucky to find kind and loving you.

Tabor said...

We faced something similar years ago in Belize with a drowning hummingbird. We got it to dry land, but I am afraid we did not ultimately save its life.