“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.”
~ R. Buckminster Fuller
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.
All photos by madlyinlovewithlife; © 2016 madlyinlovewithlife