Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Flutter by, Butterfly

Always rambling, always exploring, I am and I am not a creature of habit. If I do not work, and I have not worked much lately, I go for a long, early morning walk. That is the habitual part.

But walking the same trail, the same route each day, no, I like a constant variety and thankfully the good souls who have preserved our nature hereabouts have provided it.

Besides the several fine and handsome parks surrounding my neck of the woods, these parks are festooned with many trails. Not only do I take a different path each day, I look for ones I've missed before and go exploring. Sometimes they prove short or dead end and I can only turn around and go back as I came, but most present new scenery and often surprises. Sometimes the surprise is I don't know my way back to where I started and am lost for a bit. I don't mind, it is interesting being lost as long as you know ways of eventually de-losing yourself.

At any rate, I turned off on to a road less traveled yesterday. It was a totally random choice this time. I was searching for something. (I will probably make this search a Frank March Adventure if I ever find the object of my desire.)  I am looking for an elusive waterfall. I had a conversation with a bicyclist I met after I had climbed hills and forded streams and had returned to a main trail unsuccessful. I asked if he knew where the waterfall was. He didn't. He didn't know there was a waterfall and thought with our dry weather it might not exist at the moment. His assumption was this mysterious waterfall only appeared after heavy rains or only at some magical time like Brigadoon.

Perhaps, but I think not. There is on the Internet at the Woodlawn website a trail map, and it indicates a waterfall up in one corner of this acreage, right over the state border I suspect. I just don't think I've walked down the right route yet or far enough.

Once a month I get together with a group of poets and we share our poetry. The latest meeting was this past Thursday and a story that was told became my catalyst to once again search for the waterfall on Friday morning. My friend and fellow poet, Dallas (pictured left), had a motorcycle accident this past week. It left him with a broken hand and broken rib. He can't work (he drives a bus) and he can't do his daily bike ride or his martial arts exercises either. This forced inability led to a story mentioning the waterfall, although it was peripheral to the tale.

The story: Dallas had gone on his regular bike ride up into the Woodlawn forest, when he came to a waterfall. Here was a nice open space beside a pond. He parked his bike and spend some time doing his martial arts exercises. It was a very hot day and that pond looked more and more inviting as he finished up his forms. Yes, it looked very enticing and there was no one around, he had been quite alone all day, he striped off to skin and dove into the water. It was very refreshing and he splashed there enjoying this cooling bath when he heard voices. A group of children suddenly appeared marching toward the spot, so he sunk himself down into the pond up to his chin. Some waved, some spoke to him and he said "hi" back. As this group settled upon the bank their teacher came from behind and began pointing and explaining things surrounding (presumably this did not include the head bobbing in the pond). Finally, the lecture finished, they waved goodbye and were gone. He, with relief and wrinkled skin, climbed ashore, quickly dressed and got out of there.

So I thought, there is definitely a waterfall somewhere out there and the next morning I set off again to find it.

I also thought isn't this always the way. When you think you are alone and safe along comes someone to embarrass you. It was just like my telling about removing my shirt in this heat while on what was to me a very unused trail. I almost never met anyone on in that place, but this time along comes a lady and her dogs. At least I had only removed my shirt.

Thus it was I wandered in a whole lot of new territory yesterday morning without finding my waterfall. I came to a choice far up on a mount after walking long. Perhaps the path going to my right would have led me to my goal, but I had been hiking long and the day was heating up, so I went left.

This took me up a narrow path I had also never been on before. It ran along the very top of the ridge and there was a fence along one side, probably electrified, for it only had three well-spaced strands of thick cable on white plastic knobs.  There was a cornfield along where I first came, then later I could see a road across a meadow. Meanwhile, the path grew very narrow and all around were high brush, especially cockleburs.

This is where I saw them, a flutter of yellow here and there. There were butterflies in packs flitting from plant to plant and then around my head. It was a marvelous place to be. Cicada were singing in the nearby woods and these beautiful, colorful creatures leading me along. It was an enchanting moment of beauty and peace.

I pulled out my camera and began filming, following their flight, and at times they seemed to pose for their close-up.

Not just the yellow ones, but these darker flies of black and blue and silver.

I do not know butterfly types. When you encounter large yellow ones with black trim you always think Monarch, but I am not sure the markings were right and there are yellow butterflies that mimic the Monarch. The dark one on the left seems to be some kind of swallowtail. There was one that when sitting still spread its wings forming almost a star that looked metallic. You can see that one near the end of my little two minute film below.

By the way, did you know they tag butterflies out of the nature center in Brandywine Creek State Park. Imagine catching and tagging these delicate looking creatures. You do it gently, a tiny sticker on the wing that doesn't harm or hinder the butterfly. They catch them, take them to the center, feed them, tag them and led them loose. This way they can trace the migrations of the insect.


1 comment:

Ron said...

On one of my summer vacations I took my friend Tony's suggestion and sunbathed nude on the beach. I was reluctant at first but he said "Don't worry, no one ever comes by here. It is too isolated." Guess what? So there we are, lying side by side face up on the beach with our sunglasses on getting a "tan all over" . I hear voices in the distance coming closer. I take off my sunglasses and see a group of older women dressed in khaki and wearing Ramar of the Jungle hats. I turn to Tony with a LOOK OF PANIC. He said, "Oh don't worry, they are just bird waters and they're more interested in the birds that fly than yours." He said "Don't move, they'll pass." So I took his suggesting, what do I know? He's the expert in nude sun bathing on the beach. So I put my sunglasses back on and lie by head back, facing the bright sun. The voice come closer and closer. Then I hear them stop. They're standing over us! Yeah, right! So I just lay there, what was I going to do? Get up and run covering my private parts as I ran? Turn over? Did they really want to see my ass? Maybe they would take offense. So we lay there. After what seemed like an eternity (probably more like two minutes), they revved up their engines and began walking away, momentarily puzzled by the two "birds" they unexpectedly found lying not he beach. Later Tony told me "It's probably the first time most of then ever saw a penis in person." Probably.