Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Winter Blues ~ Eastern-tailed Blue, Summer Azure and Silvery Blue

Dreaming of Blues fluttering around the garden can shake off the mantle-of-melancholy winter sometimes weaves about our spirits. Today, I gather some delightful, inspiring and tender butterfly encounters, from this past sizzling summer, and toss them on this page of white, that they may bring a ray of light, to warm the inner gardeners folded inside our longing souls. 

Eastern Tailed-Blue Butterflies of 2013

The progeny of these gossamer-wings are now chrysalises, or caterpillars in the Eastern Tailed-Blue's case, tucked away in crevices within mossy mounds, pods of vetches and clover, or along the frozen winter ground. Little fragile beings within their sleepy pupa or larva state, without realizing their fate, without questioning, without knowing, without hoping to survive the onslaught of freeze and thaw, human flaws and sharp bird beaks, simply, sweetly sleep, waiting for transformation. 

Summer Azure Butterflies of 2013

Holding on throughout the bleak winter months, many new Blues will emerge, along with our gladdened hearts, into the warm breath of spring. I hope and imagine hundreds of butterflies surviving the numerous perils that come between them and their completed metamorphosis. Such gossamery treasures tickle emotions and call the caring mind to action in thoughtful ways towards their wellbeing. An added appreciation for subtleties in shades of blues and grays awakens this slothful painter, when gazing upon the pastel Blues.

Silvery Blue Butterflies of 2013

Without snow cover, butterfly chrysalises and caterpillars are more vulnerable. Just beneath the old apple tree, gray birch and blueberry bushes, precious life is quietly in hiding.

I love birds too and they enjoy all the stages of butterflies equally, especially at this lean time of year.  No snow coverage is good news for this little Carolina Wren, who has decided to move in and live year round.

Wren and other bird beaks are perfect for lifting up the leaves and digging for larva nuggets below. Too bad for the butterflies being of the lower food chain, but then, butterflies fasten hundreds and hundreds of eggs to various host plants assuring there will always be trembling gossamer-wings to pollinate and touch our hearts. I say, always, but heedless humans do have a hand in the decline of butterflies of all kinds.

Foggy, frosty, winter morning sunrises are wondrous to behold just outside the windows and doors. I feel blessed to start the day in this inspiring way. A branch of the Mill River runs between the hill where Flower Hill Farm is situated and Carey Hill just due east, making for a great show of mist most every dawn. I am less excited about the sheet of wood smoke that is always more gray.

Millions of unique snowflakes fall, thickening a fleecy snow-blanket, sheltering tiny life. It is heart-warming to know of all the diverse, quiescent wildlife sleeping beneath the surface of snow in layers of detritus deeper below. In the dance of life, all is in limbo, uncertainties abound upon a blanketed earth.

Winter can be beautiful in its frozen snow-blossom way. Creating an ever changing wonderland with a great deal to explore, to ponder and exclaim about. It can soften the mind and loosen binding thoughts of gloom. If its beauty fails to lift our spirits, it may help to remember that the little Blues are placidly waiting too. 

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