There’s a corollary to chasing death which is a blind determination to hang on to life.We were watching a butterfly in our garden gloriously living its short span by floating ethereally from bloom and bloom like a fantastically rigged aerial sailing ship. The sailing ship analogy was to be its downfall. Drawn inexorably, as are myriad insects, to the blue of the pool its aquatic ability was shown to be wanting. When we are out in the garden creatures don’t drown in the pool. We are like the Baywatch of La Moussiere identified by a large blue net on an aluminium pole rather than orange floats and body bisecting swim suits. None shall perish on our watch but, as is always the case when that vainly assertive phrase is employed, the opposite is true and so it is that the pool is filled with the dead and the dying yet the handsome butterfly could not wait to join them. Am I right in thinking there’s a strong link to human behaviour here? The struggling victim of reversed Icarus syndrome was soon ascending, as he should have done in the first place, now unaided by wings but enmeshed in the blue plastic of the pool net. All seemed, at first, to be well. The sail like wings were folded above its head in the ingenious manner of a plane below decks on an aircraft carrier or, more accurately, like a football supporter who had erroneously anointed his hands with superglue before raising his arms above to his head to clap in admiration at his team’s derring do. This creature was now less a butterfly than a butterfoot. The wings were stuck firmly together. We lifeguards believed that if he/she ( difficult to tell) remained on a table by the back door, the wings would in time dry out and the butterfoot would fly once more. Night fell and the butterfoot had advanced to the edge of the table where, with arms raised like a high diver, it appeared to be contemplating a final suicidal dive to the gravel far below. We were not in a position to intervene in this personal decision and so we retired for the night. The morning revealed the butterfoot in pensive mood in the middle of the table looking at the large green leaf that we had filled with water under the illusion that butterfeet may have the same needs as other pets, that need being a drink of water. The water didn’t seem to please it as I now realise that the sight of water must have been bringing back bad memories. It was going to have to be surgery. The tiny pointed shard of cocktail stick that I had chosen as my separator of stuck wings must have looked alarmingly big to the tiny butterfoot and I could clearly see that it was gesticulating with its antennae that it had not signed any sort of acceptance form for this treatment and would certainly be suing the La Moussiere lifeguards. The die (bad word) was cast and to my, and the butterfoot’s, amazement the first tentative poke with the stick released that which was stuck. The wings opened to reveal their fabulous pattern and foot became fly and was gone. I have a great liking for dry sherry, so I enjoyed a chilled glass of fino with a small mussel salad by way of celebration.
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Brilliant, in every way I can imagine, absolutely brilliant and lovely! Three cheers for the butterfeet lifesavers (AND their celebratory cocktail!)
It’s a tough life making our pool safe for butterflies. You gatta have a drink sometime:)
Perfect, the words, the shot and the celebration!
Thank you.I was so surprised when the wings separated and it flew away:)
What a beautiful presentation!
That’s very kind of you.Thahks:)
I think you deserved that fino for saving the day!
I don’t know why I don’t drink sherry more often. I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for drowning butterflies:)
Your writing is always so delightful! Glad you “saved the day”!! That sherry would have saved mine.. where were you when I needed you? 😀
Probably on my second or third sherry:)
The butterfly baron! Love the mussels and sherry shot! Oh and my camera that is not working is wearing its fancy camera armour! I am looking into the cameras you have suggested just as my 2nd hand d70 body has arrived (the post mistress just called me, she reads the blog and is sending the post man out with it in the hope that we can retire purse camera today). so fingers crossed.. I loved your story today especially because it had a happy ending. c
Thank you Celi. I hope you sort the camera out – it’s miserable when cameras and computers conspire:)
There is definitely a conspiracy, i just cannot work out who is the primary trouble maker! c
I’ve been battling with wifi in our house today. The internet just changed channels of its own volition! Creepy.
Gremlins.. (shudder!).. c
Good on you, Roger. And, it isn’t close enough to lunch this way to go find me some mussels……..
Thanks, Andra. You’ll have to make do with an early sherry:)
Aw. If I must….. 🙂
Good to celebrate the small things 🙂
It’s good to find any excuse to celebrate:)
That’s a beautiful salad and an entertaining drama 🙂
You’ll have to show me your version of a mussel salad bento:)
I hope the butterfly went on to live a long and happy life/day. The mussel salad looks a colourful and tasty reward for your life-saving efforts.
I hope it has the good grave to write or to call:)
The butterfoot can be impressive:)
Oh, cracking post, Roger, making the minute so significant it almost takes my breath away. And that photograph. Tummy rumbling as usual.
Thanks, Kate – glad it worked:)
A butterfly hero. 🙂 Glad you were able to rescue the creature. We get so few butterflies around here, I’m always thrilled to see one.
We seem to have less and less each summer.
Thank you for the excuse [actually, pray, not needed!] to get my own fino half-way in between and betwixt to read and enjoy: both the suggested sherry and your wonderful word play . . .
The fino is a good aid to word digestion:)
A great read, Roger. As if you weren’t accomplished enough, now you can add “Butterfly Savior” to your resumé. That may not mean all that much to you but, to a certain butterfly, it’s the World.
I take my new position very seriously:)
Great post, Roger! And the photo is amazing 🙂
Thanks for that – the picture was taken on the spur of the moment, but it worked out well:)
Those mussels look delicious!!
And so they were:)
I love a “they live happily ever after” story. The fino and mussels is a perfectly fitting way to celebrate…beautiful photo.
Thank you for that, Karen:)