Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Monarch on the Trail

 Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)
There have not been many Monarch butterflies about this year, and I did a spirited, wobbly dance on the weekend when a single glorious specimen flew past my freckled nose and alighted in a stand of blooming milkweed near the trail into the woods - in my excitement, I almost dropped the camera.

A few minutes later, a single cicada started to broadcast its call for a mate from somewhere higher on the ridge, then another and another and another. Again and again, their tymbal muscles contracted and relaxed, the rhythmic vibrations resulting in what is, to me anyway, summer's most resonant and engaging musical score.  All the cares of the day fell away, and time stood still as I stood and listened to that poignant and hopeful chorus.

There are moments one remembers in the depths of winter, and this was one of them.  How sweet it was to stand along the trail and listen to cicadas rumble and rasp in the trees overhead, watch a small bright wonder flutter and swoop and feed in fields of waving milkweed. Life simply doesn't get any better than this, and it doesn't get any wilder either.


sarah said...

that's really beautiful ... I remember when I was young the many different varieties of butterflies we would see in the garden; now, we are lucky to see a monarch every now and again.

Anonymous said...


Mystic Meandering said...

I so much appreciate your appreciation for life! Makes me want to appreciate it more and more... Exquisite photo of that butterfly!