Last night, I found a pretty butterfly in my garden. I was checking a swarm, but it had got away. The telltale honeycomb clinging to the branch like a flag denoting the attempt at freedom.
But this butterfly was amazing. Delicate, perfect, whispy thin wings with beautiful markings and an impossibly tiny stick like body. I briefly held it in my hands, not touching it really, just letting it rest on my clumsy cupped palms. It stood on its tiny legs, its wings slowly moving up and down. Just stunning.
I was curious that it should be out so late in the dusk. My bees head into the hive at dusk, but this insect didn't seem to be bothered. Where do butterflies go at night? Do they only live a day? All that gossamer beauty just for a day? The butterfly seemed content in my cupped hand, sheltered from the buffetting wind, not in any imminent danger. I was most certainly not going to kill it, and some how it was like it sensed that. Odd really, how some animals, and now in my senior years insects too seemed to have a curious ability to sense something in humans. Or at least me. My bees fly around me these days ignoring me, they bump into me and fly away. Occasionally, I do get stung, but then, one always does.
Eventually, I lifted my hand and the delicate butterfly flew into the evening.
I'll look again for another butterfly anotherday.
I did and I found one. Not sure if it is the same one, looks similar though! I did not put it in a gilded cage but rather placed it an spot where it seemed safe. It stayed for six days. Then it flew away.