Summer Flutters By


“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.”

~ R. Buckminster Fuller

Flying Metaphors

Butterflies don’t know that, to us, they are flying metaphors—powerful symbols of transformation. They are blissfully unaware that they teach us life lessons, like the wisdom of letting go of the old to embrace something entirely new. Oblivious to the lessons we learn as we watch them morph from crawling, leaf-munching caterpillars into delicate-winged beauties sipping on the nectar of wildflowers, they just simply be themselves. They don’t try to become a butterfly; they don’t try to change. They just let it all unfold, as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Don’t you just love that about butterflies?

Here are some of the butterflies we spotted this summer:

Above: Silver-bordered Fritillary on a bright yellow King Devil blossom at Bebo Grove in Fish Creek Provincial Park, Calgary.


Titania’s Fritillary on a Red Clover, Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area, Alberta.

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.

~ Rabindranath Tagore


Olympia Marble enjoying the nectar of a Blue Button, Kananaskis foothills, Alberta.


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

~ Hans Christian Anderson



Green Comma basking in Bebo Grove in Fish Creek Provincial Park, Calgary. Butterflies cannot regulate their body temperature and are therefore subject to fluctuating air temperatures. If they get too cold, they cannot fly; and, like amphibians, when they get too cool, they often look for a light-coloured rock where they can bask in the warm sunshine.

“I confess I do not believe in time. I like to fold my magic carpet, after use, in such a way as to superimpose one part of the pattern upon another. Let visitors trip. And the highest enjoyment of timelessness―in a landscape selected at random―is when I stand among rare butterflies and their food plants. This is ecstasy, and behind the ecstasy is something else, which is hard to explain. It is like a momentary vacuum into which rushes all that I love. A sense of oneness with sun and stone. A thrill of gratitude to whom it may concern―to the contrapuntal genius of human fate or to tender ghosts humoring a lucky mortal.”

~ Vladimir Nabokov


Pearly Crescent on Fleabane; Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area, Alberta.

“She liked being reminded of butterflies. She remembered being six or seven and crying over the fates of the butterflies in her yard after learning that they lived for only a few days. Her mother had comforted her and told her not to be sad for the butterflies, that just because their lives were short didn’t mean they were tragic. Watching them flying in the warm sun among the daisies in their garden, her mother had said to her, see, they have a beautiful life. Alice liked remembering that.”

~ Lisa Genova

Mourning Cloak basking on sandstone; Fish Creek Provincial Park, Calgary.


Image Credits:

All photos by madlyinlovewithlife; © 2016 madlyinlovewithlife

13 thoughts on “Summer Flutters By

    • You are right! Butterflies are difficult to photograph! Thank goodness for digital photo cards, as it takes a lot of shots to get one focsed shot. These guys don’t sit still for long! Have a wonderful week! :))

    • Hello Randall. I am fond of that Nabokov quote—in fact, it may be one of my all-time favourite quotes. Few people know that Nabokov was a lepidopterist or that his most beloved passion was not writing books, but chasing butterflies! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you are having a wonderful summer! :))

  1. Beautiful, Jeannie. The butterfly I’d love to attract is the Great-Spangled Fritillary, but no luck yet! Your quotes are perfect, and your pictures breathtaking as always! Take care!

    • Thank you, Lis. I looked up the Great-Spangled Fritillary and is a magnificent butterfly! What an impressive wingspan it has. It would be a real treat to see one (they don’t come to our area). You are so fortunate to have the butterflies flutter right into your garden. I won’t be surprised to hear when you have attracted your first Great-Spangled. :))

  2. Well this post brought a chill and a tear to my eye, such an utterly beautiful tribute to butterflies. The photos are exquisite, capturing the beauty of each winged master. Your words about transformation so lovely, the quotes delightful; and a joy to have each species identified (not at all easy in butterflies). And then the Nabokov quote–the butterfly expert and a man of astounding words–just really topped it. An inspiration, Jeannie — thank you.

    • Hello Jet, please accept my apologies for my very late reply. Life got unexpectedly busy. But I want you to know that I did read and appreciate all your thoughtful comments and I want you to know they are much appreciated. That Nabokov quote has always inspired me too—I get the same chill as you do when I read those words. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I can’t believe how quickly the summer has passed—it has fluttered right into autumn. Thanks again for your very kind words. I hope you’ve had a wonderful summer. ~ Jeannie :))

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