A Butterfly Stops by for Tea


 “Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly,
“one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.”

~Hans Christian Anderson

Bumping into a Good Friend

Several summers ago, as I stepped out onto my balcony garden, I literally bumped into my good friend, the Clouded Sulphur Butterfly. It was a beautiful, hot summer’s day and the vertical blinds of our sliding glass doors leading out to the balcony garden were closed to keep out the heat of the late summer sun. I was working in the kitchen when I heard some commotion on the street below. Curious as to the cause of the sound, I decided to step out onto the balcony to have a look-see. But, rather than open the vertical blinds so I could step out unimpeded, I lazily threaded one arm between two of the vertical panels, parted them, and gingerly placed one foot out onto the balcony. Half out, with one foot and one arm through to the other side and my other arm and leg still inside, laced between the vertical panels of the blinds, I bumped smack into a little Clouded Sulphur Butterfly.

Neither of us expected the other to be there. I jumped in surprise at something unseen fluttering about my face, instinctively (and rather comically I’m sure) flailing my arms like a mad woman, while the butterfly, also surprised and momentarily confused (can you blame the poor thing?), fluttered wildly between the narrow opening of the vertical blinds and straight into my dining room, where it finally settled on the bottom of the blinds.

Once she and I regained our composure, I offered her a spot of chamomile tea with several drops of wildflower honey, which she gladly accepted. We had a short chat before she was off again, in somewhat of a hurry it seemed, to purchase a brand new pink hat (because, in her opinion, hats on butterflies are never a mistake).



My Little Visitor – A Clouded Sulphur Butterfly

Clouded Sulphurs are pretty yellow butterflies. At rest, with their wings closed, they are a beautiful, pale yellow colour, with a delicate pink outline around each wing. In flight, with their wings open, they are a vibrant bright yellow, with stunning black edges around their wings. Most of the yellow sulphur butterflies look very similar—the tell-tale marking of a Clouded Sulphur is a row of three black dots on the underside of each wing.

I’m always thrilled when a butterfly visits my high-rise balcony garden—it’s so high above the ground, it’s always a wonder to me how they ever find my little garden. But, however they find my flowers, I’m so happy that they do!

19 thoughts on “A Butterfly Stops by for Tea

  1. Oh Jeannie,
    This is beautiful! Just as cool as the birds feeding out of your hand!
    I can relate to ‘flailing my arms like a mad woman’ – all the more so when there is an unexpected, pleasant surprise :) Thank you, thank you for brightening my day!

  2. They are cute these little visitors,
    they are not obvious to prende pictures.
    Compliments to the photographer.
    Have a nice sunny week.

  3. We had so many Yellow Sulphur Butterfly in the garden.. I can’t remember if I saw the black dots or not. I really love the first picture, the mix between purple and yellow is quite pretty.

    I love the encounter and how you share a drink with it ;-) So cute :-) Have a nice week, Jeannie !

  4. What a fun post! How wonderful to have tea with the beautiful butterfly, Jeannie. I think, in her pursuit of a pink hat, she was attracted to the blind chain because it looks just like a string of elegant pearls. :D

    • Hello Jet! I loved your comment! I think you are exactly right! It does look like a beautiful string of pearls (which, of course, any butterfly who liked hats would appreciate!) Enjoy the rest of your week! :)))

  5. Jeannie, this is such a sweet, zen-like post, and reading it I not only learned about this particular lovely, dainty butterfly, but I also felt quite calmed by doing so. Clouded Sulphers — what a wonderful name! I never knew what they were called before, so thank you! And thank you for so kindly giving the butterly some tea and honey — how very sweet and generous of you! Hope you’re having a wonderful week, Jeannie! :)

    • Hello Deb! Butterflies hold a special place in my heart, so whenever one finds even one of my flowers growing way up here in my balcony garden in the sky, it seems extra special! Thank you for your kind words. Wishing you and Charlie and the rest of your crew a very happy weekend! :))

      • I know what you mean, Jeannie. Just this afternoon we saw a Monarch and it was magical (so too the dear we see — love ’em). I just told my husband today about all that I learned from having read your post, :) Deb

  6. I finally got to this post. What a sweet story, love it. Late last summer, my husband and I went for a little nature walk and came upon many of these yellow butterflies. I love butterflies so much, but strangely have a terrible phobia of caterpillars.

    • Hello Diane! Thanks for visiting! I would love to have the experience of seeing lots of lots of these pretty butterflies. You must have got some great shots—you take stunning butterfly shots, which is not an easy thing to do. I don’t think it’s necessarily odd to have a different reaction to caterpillars—they really are a different creature altogether, aren’t they? I do enjoy seeing them one or two at a time, but find it a bit disconcerting to come across large groups of them. Thanks again for stopping by. :))

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