Sunday, July 30, 2006


Saturday morning was adrift in butterflies, particularly Monarch butterflies, and it was far too hot in Lanark to countenance doing very much at all except curling up in the shade of the big trees for a while and watching the bees, butterflies and dragonflies fluttering about. By mid morning, the temperature was blazing, and the humidity was astonishing - the experience was akin to wandering in a Brazilian rainforest.

These butterflies appeared to be female as they lacked the scent (pheromone) spot on their hind wings which would identify them at once as male specimens. As a general rule, female Monarchs are not as colourful as their brothers, but in both cases, the very faded wings and languid behaviour seem to indicate that they are older ladies, probably of the summer generation which will not migrate in August. Their vibrant children have already hatched out and taken exuberantly to the air in the highlands - there were clouds of bright young Monarch butterflies about yesterday, but they did not alight anywhere long enough to be photographed.

Last evening was a trifle cooler but (sigh) only by a few degrees. At nightfall, I pottered outside with my tea for an hour or so and watched several little brown bats circling about in the garden behind the little blue house in the village. The cicadas were certainly in fine form - the air was filled with their courting songs. This morning, it is already hot and humid, and we are in for another scorcher - there will be no release from the "hot stuff" for several days. I am by no means hastening toward the next turning of the seasons, but am already thinking longingly about autumn and its cooler days. This crone's brain seems to slow down considerably in the heat - some of the slowing is indubitably "an aging thing", but most of the present lethargy is related to the heat.


Jennifer S. said...

thankfully we have cooled off here, still nice but not scorching any longer. your butterfly knowlege is impressive!

jzr said...

I can identify with your looking forward toward the fall. I too don't like to hasten the time an further than it is already going, but I find it difficult to function in this muck!

Pam in Tucson said...

There was an article soliciting volunteers for Monarch banding in today's paper. Unfortunately, the site is in southwestern Arizona, too far for me to travel. We do get Monarchs here on occasion, but we get more Queens, which are quite similar. I remember well how the eastern heat/humidity combination can de-energize. Enjoy your tea and relaxation among these beautiful flowers and butterflies.

Steven Crisp said...

Two weeks. I just heard they live as little as two weeks.

Try to imagine your life being over so quickly. Sound sad? No, think how liberating that would be! No reason to collect any possessions, or accumulate any psycological baggage. No reason to fret over future decision.

Just unfurl your wings and flutter from flower to flower. Drink the sweet nectar and warm yourself in the sun. Pose once again for that crazy photographer that wants to capture your colorful beauty and share it with the world.

Life is good right here, right now.