Monday, June 15, 2009

Mariposa (Butterfly Woman)

Female Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
(Papilio Canadensis)

This spectacular (and somewhat tattered) female was fluttering in a sunny grove of blackberry canes by the main trail through the deep woods yesterday morning. I sat down on a fallen log to watch as she foraged among the downy blackberry blossoms for nourishment, and I was there for some time - until she flew off into the aspen grove further up the hill.

It is a fine old life that permits one to sit on a log in the forest for an hour or so and watch swallowtails dance in early summer. They are magnificent creatures, and the experience was something to remember - the butterfly's spiraling bacchanal through the grove, the jeweled golds and blues and reds of her wings and how beautifully the sun was shining through them.

Although science generally "pooh poohs" the notion that insects feel emotions as humans do, there seemed to be genuine pleasure in Mariposa's swooping flight yesterday, and I would like to think that it was so.

If precious stones had the gift of flight, they would resemble swallowtail butterflies, but the swallowtails would shine more brightly every time.


Sky said...

beautiful. glad you had the opportunity to sit on that log in the forest and watch this magical being swirl. wish i had happened upon her.

Rowan said...

What a beautiful butterfly, no wonder you sat and watched. I have to say that I misread the second sentence, for a moment I thought you'd written that you sat down on a fallen dog! I was getting quite concerned for Spencer until I realised my mistake:)