There is just something I love about butterflies - maybe it's their bright colored wings or the way they flutter then land softly on a dewy flower in the morning sunlight. What I do know is that whenever my boys or I see one, we can't help but smile and try to catch one to no avail.... until this one glorious day.
My husband has different weekend days off than me, so on the weekends, since it's just us three, I try to get my boys over to my parents house for a visit. My parents are outdoorsy people, so when we go to visit, the boys usually spend most of the time climbing trees or playing in the dirt.
The last time we were there, something wonderful happened - we got to see an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly up close. Very up close. He was just resting on the flowers right by the walkway leading up to my parents front porch. He seemed quite content, just sitting, sipping nectar, slowly opening and closing his black and yellow wings.
After a few minutes, we all went inside, except my oldest son - he couldn't take his eyes off this butterfly. A moment or two later, I saw him on the other side of the house with butterfly gently resting on his open hand. It was amazing. We had a feeling that something wasn't quite right, given butterflies elusive history.
The boys begged me to let them take "Bubble Bee" (the name they gave him, given his yellow and black coloring) back to our house - and would you believe it... he rode on my son's finger all the way home. We had an enclosure from the butterflies we raised just a few weeks prior, so we put him inside and gave him some fruit to eat.
Over the night, he slowly came to rest on the bottom of the enclosure. My boys discovered that he had past away and gently put him on one of our hydrangea blooms as this final resting place. He was a beautiful butterfly and we all feel so lucky that we got to be a part of his last day.
You never know what beauty nature will provide you, but if you keep your eyes open to the world, you just may be surprised. It is going to be hard to top this summer of butterflies, but I am already looking forward to what next year will bring us.