Martha note: Who doesn't need a vicarious porch break? Sarah O'Connor teaches in the Writing and Rhetoric and Technical Communication at JMU. The following is one of a series of her nature-related essays.
|AP Photo/Julia Malakie|
|©2006 Publications International, Ltd.|
Today the big fellows, the black and orange monarchs and the black swallowtails, are nowhere to be seen, but usually one or two of these grand canvases reign over the bush in crowd stopping orange and black, or in black iridescence studded with white and blue jewels. Perhaps they have already started their winter vacations. With a life span of nine months, the Monarch is one of the longest lived butterflies. Every year when the weather turns cool, this butterfly, weighing no more than .3 grams, travels up to 3000 miles as it migrates south to places such as Mexico. Generations return each spring to the same locations, so maybe the monarch I see is the newest member of the Woodcrest Circle family. Somewhere in its DNA is inscribed this address, handed down from great grandparent to grandparent to parent and so on. Maybe the cities on our maps are the flowering bushes on theirs.
I gather my papers. Shadows are spreading and the temperature is dropping. Bumblebees would rightfully charge that I have wasted the afternoon, and I would agree. Since each day now will see fewer colors and less activity in the garden, since soon warm patches of sun will be memories, like the butterflies, I have chosen to wantonly celebrate the now.