Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On Broken Wings?

I chased a butterfly in the garden with my grandchildren
and for a moment, 
all cares slipped away
as we were captivated by this delicate dance 
of gossamer wings.

 But the butterfly was illusive,
unwilling to bend to our request to hold still
so that we might catch it.

So we stood still and watched with wonder
as this breath of beauty fluttered about us...

  finally landing on a branch of it's choice, 
then slowly fanning it's wings
much to our delight. 

And then we noticed...

does this butterfly have a broken wing?

 and a missing antennae?

Sh-h-h... don't tell this butterfly he is broken,
he seems to be doing just fine.

"You can chase a butterfly all over the field
and never catch it.
But if you sit quietly in the grass
it may come and sit on your shoulder."

Author Unknown

Next time I think maybe we'll try sitting quietly in the grass!


  1. I promise to keep the secret. ;) This time of year, it is unusual that I see a "perfect" butterfly -- they've usually all at least had a run-in with a bird or been caught in some damaging situation by now. What a fantastic idea for a post!

    Gorgeous pictures, and lovely words, Carolyn. :)

  2. I love your thoughts Carolyn! Last spring we bought an indoor butterfly garden. All five caterpillar's spun their cocoon's and hatched into beautiful butterflies. One was born missing two legs and one of her wings never fully developed. I felt torn what to do with her and in the end I decided to let her out where she was supposed to be. She couldn't fly all that well so she hung around on my gardenia bush for a couple days then she disappeared. A couple weeks later, there was a large explosion of caterpillars near my gardenia bush and subsequently my neighboring pot of cilantro disappeared over night! Then 7 cocoon's appeared, another they were gone! Broken wing's don't limit our vision or purpose, sometimes they keep us right where we are supposed to be! ;)

  3. You've written a delightful poem to accompany remarkable photos of a battered, but still graceful butterfly.

    Thank you!


  4. That tiger swallowtail is doing good, considering. I've seen butterflies with 3/4 of their wings gone and they still make it from bloom to bloom! Even saw a monarch once with one of its 4 wings gone. They endure!

  5. I remember chasing butterflies when I was a child.
    Its truly brings zeal & joy back into our lives.
    Thanks for sharing this. Now, I must bring my children and chase butterflies with them (lol)

  6. Lovely post. I've also been visited by a swallowtail with a torn wing. And how wonderful to watch the butterfly with your grandchildren. I was excited this morning to find some black swallowtail caterpillars on my dill - I haven't seen as many butterflies this summer.

  7. Lovely thoughts and photos for this beautiful summer day.

  8. Very nice photos of the butterfly. And you are right, there is no reason to tell the butterfly about its broken wing(s) ;)

  9. This took me right back to my childhood when my grandmother and I used to stand in her meadow and hope the butterflies would come to us ... they never did but it is a great memory.

  10. Oh, I hate to see their wings torn or missing but I know it's life. I'm glad they can figure out how to get around even beat up a bit. Usually if I see one with really pristine wings, I figure it just emerged. You have some beautiful photos of the Swallowtail.

  11. Yesterday I found a butterflies in my garden, but not so lucky as yours, and I was so sad.
    They are so beautiful and fragile.

  12. Meredith, you always lift my spirit. Thank you.

    Emma Lee, I love your story and have retold it several times already. But I must say, I'm delighted that you are so connected to nature. Your little ones are so lucky to have such a sweet momma!

    Nanina, I delight in trying to cheer you up!

    Benjamin, James, Ginny, Karen, Kathleen and Ellada, I enjoyed reading your encounters with butterflys.

    Joey, Sandy, and Greenearth, so glad you enjoyed my post.

  13. You've written a delightful poem to accompany remarkable photos of a battered, but still graceful butterfly.

    Thank you!



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