Friday, August 5, 2011

Butterfly sitting

That's what my life has been reduced down to - butterfly sitting (a variant on babysitting). I came across a red-spotted purple butterfly this week.  Why such a name when the poor creature actually has orange spots and an iridescent blue scale?  Maybe it was named before quality eye wear was easily affordable and accessible - I'm thinking starving post doc entomologist around the turn of the century squinting in a dimly lit lab somewhere in the underbelly of a brick walled institution.

I grabbed my camera; though - I'm completely ill-adept for capturing close-up shots of moving things... this poor guy hardly moved at all -- and upon further examination, I could see that this one was somewhat rag tag.  In the larger digital monitor view it was evident that his lower wings suffered avian nibblings and it looked like a small gash was on it's back between the wings.

Despite the beauty of his wings, this guy had a hard life and explains why he was enjoying the oregano in my herb pot for a good 30 minutes despite the fact that I was hovering a mere 18 inches above him with a large black orb - undoubtedly dwarfing even the largest bird eye he previously encountered.

The following day, I happened along a newly born red-spotted purple butterfly. Having just emerged from his chrysalis and gently airing his yet unnibbled wings, I grabbed my camera again.  You can see in this shot that the very bottom wings showing just the remains of the accordion folding.

I watched him until he fell off his chrysalis and staggered (is that what you call clumsy flying?), until he hit the siding - rested a moment and then began the real test of his new found flying capabilities.  I watched this rookie for a good hour or so as he kept launching and landing.  Finally he came to rest very near where I had seen the elder butterfly the day before.

So I wonder, is this some cosmic foretelling of unfolding events?  Does it explain why I've been dreaming of my former business suits bursting buttons in a clear indication of a life that no longer fits?  Am I unfolding into a new direction or am I resting at an interlude between birth and death?  These are the kinds of thoughts that amble around in my mind in the absence of having gainful employment.

I am pleased to be participating in the first annual "Image as Metaphor" (Katherine Wilson and Don Werthman) juried show at the Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti, Mi.  The show runs from August 4th - 27th with a reception the evening of the 13th; please stop by if you can.


M said...

I love that you got photos of the newly emerged butterfly! I totally understand the sign-reading -- I do that a lot, regardless of whether it actually reflects a larger reality. All the butterfly activity *feels* like a good sign, just as a hummingbird alighting on the rim of my wine glass a couple years back struck me as especially hopeful...

Stone Bridge Studios said...

Was it red wine per chance? Those hummingbirds are unfailing in their ability to seek out the finest reds! Thanks M, I too think it's a good sign - even if the only difference being that I'm paying attention now; that can't be a bad thing.