Sunday, June 19, 2011

Backyard visitor

My garden has a lot of Dame's rocket in it - that colourful and very fragrant flower that is a wild spring phlox. It has been attracting a number of visitors.

Among them, hummingbirds, several kinds of bees and wasps from tiny to a huge queen bumblebee that nearly fell off the blossoms and other insects that love the sweet nectar.

Earlier in spring I posted a photograph of a black swallowtail that arrived or hatched to soon and got caught in a bitter cold and drenching rain storm.

Yesterday I was delighted to see a yellow swallowtail. In fact there have been several flying through or around the garden. Each one like a shaft of sunlight in the middle of the green.

This time I grabbed my camera in time and caught a picture. Then I watched as the beautiful butterfly went from blossom to tiny blossom. I could almost hear the slurp as it sucked at the centre of each pinky-purple flower. It's long proboscis plunged down, a second of sucking and then on to the next. Fascinating to watch this kind of nature at work, completely ignoring my watchful eyes.

This kind of concentration - me watching, the insect eating - allows me to become totally in the present moment. I find this very liberating.

It's like meditation because I emptied my mind of everything except the butterfly and what it was doing.

What a marvelous spring this has been. Because it's been cool and wet, there has been lots of opportunity to watch nature at work, going along its natural course of living. A gift indeed - the time and ability to see all this wondrous stuff happening.

What marvel will you find in your day today I wonder?


  1. Beautiful post. I love wild phlox and I love swallowtail butterflies. I often wonder what is going on when they congregate on gravelly surfaces, sometimes a hundred of them in a bunch.

    Marvels of the day include watching a chipmunk eat flowers in our garden. Have to admit my wife wasn't impressed!

  2. Ah Wild Bill - what a delight you had with your chipmunk friend. Lucky you - my marvel besides the butterfly, was at 7 this morning (Monday) I discovered one of the dogs while out supposedly chasing a raccoon had rolled at 3 a.m. in something disgusting. The marvel was I didn't get angry with him... Enjoy your day!