Flowers that fly

Peacock butterfly (inachis io) by Charlesjsharp  (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Peacock butterfly (inachis io) by Charlesjsharp (CC BY-SA 3.0)

“But these are flowers that fly and all but sing…”Robert Frost

Of all the symbols of summer, perhaps butterflies come the closest to capturing the season.  The brevity of their time here, coupled with their freedom of movement and dazzling visual appeal, seem well matched to the warmer months when we tend to see them most often.

I agree with Frost that the butterflies appear so carefree and joyous as to seem ready to burst into song.  But I think silence is part of their mystique.  They appear as light as petals in the wind, and make no more noise than flowers do.  It’s rare to see anything that moves so rapidly yet soundlessly, flitting nimbly around in endlessly varying flight patterns.

Watching a butterfly can be mesmerizing, almost a form of meditation in itself.  Grace, silence, agility, energy, beauty…all admirable traits I’d like to have more of.  Maybe if I watch enough of them, I can soak up some of these characteristics by osmosis.  In any case, I appreciate their charms and look forward to seeing lots of them before the cold overtakes us again.  I hope you will too!

One year ago today:

Graceful, varied and enchanting

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Susan

    Julia, I love that description, flowers that fly! I have only one bush that seems to attract butterflies, and it’s just beginning to bloom now, so I hope to see a few in my yard soon. In our previous neighborhood our yard bordered on some woods and we used to get butterflies from there. I love the beautiful descriptions you create that remind us to appreciate the lovely things in life.

    • Thank you, Susan! I was surprised at some of the plants I’ve had that seem to draw butterflies. Although more of them draw bees than butterflies, but the bees are fun too. Have you ever had a Bee Balm plant? Mine grew so quickly and blooms so beautifully, I love it!

  2. Wow! That butterfly brings to mind Seraphim! 😄 Lots of eyes and wings!

    • I hadn’t made that connection, but perhaps some artist in a distant era did – if I spot any examples, I’ll let you know! 😀

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