Sunday, August 20, 2006


It was a classic late August day in Lanark, hot and humid, but with the deeper and more attenuated shadows which are harbingers of autumn, my favourite season in the whole turning year.

IIt was delightful to discover this newborn Monarch clinging to the foliage on the edge of the eastern hill, and I crept closer with my camera, thinking that in the dark days of winter, it would lift my spirits considerably to see this glorious creature on my computer screen first thing in the morning. Alas, as I stepped quietly and carefully around the shrubbery, along came three wasps and chased both Monarch and myself a few hundred feet down the slope and right into the midst of the blackberry bushes with their vicious and fruitful canes.

We both escaped, this old hen lurching awkwardly down the hill and the young Monarch fluttering gracefully above. There were scratches but no stings yesterday, and I consider myself fortunate.

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