There Must Be Magic

By GirlWithACamera

The Butterfly Dance

It was a perfectly splendid May day. Sunny, blue sky, absolutely beautiful. Like a dream of what mid-spring should be. We packed up our chairs and our stream-walking shoes and daysacks and a cooler, and headed for the woods.

The air was alight with butterflies. Lots of them. Especially the big yellow ones - tiger swallowtails. We walked in - a short hike - to a swimming hole we know (but the water was a bit too cold for a first swim), and waded up the creek. A part-sun/part-shade spot by the stream, with lush greens of tree and fern in every direction, was the perfect place to spend our day. And so we sat and watched the butterflies.

The yellow butterflies were using the stream as a highway, flitting along it - some heading up the creek, some heading down it. A butterfly fly-way.

A butterfly flying up the creek would run into one flying down the creek. They would greet in mid-air, flutter together a while, perhaps share a stolen butterfly kiss, and then scoot around each other in a dance that could only have been a ballet.

Then there was the turn and follow - one butterfly giving up its path for a few seconds, hanging out with the other. Then the parting, a wistful backward glance, and the farewell . . .

When we got back to the car in late afternoon, we saw the butterflies in this photo flitting about in the muddy end of the parking lot. This is a behavior called mud-puddling, in which they extract nutrients from the soil.

But like those mid-air butterflies along the stream, exchanging sweet stolen kisses and greetings in mid-air, doesn't it also look like they are dancing?

P.S. Here is some music for butterflies to dance to. Vivaldi!

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