For the Butterfly Girl: White Admiral

"She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the Universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings." - Ariana.

I have mentioned that it's been a rainy summer; one of the rainiest I can recall, in fact. And overnight on the night before this day, it poured and poured, and it lightninged and it thundered, and then it poured some more! The news reported that the local historical record for rainfall in a 24-hour period was just under 2 inches. However, from midnight Friday until 9 am Saturday, the area where I live received 3.11 inches of rain, breaking that record handily!

We had flooding in the front yard, raging torrents behind the shed, and huge puddles on the drive way. In the morning, we went out to check on things between rounds of rain, lightning, and thunder. And I saw what I thought were water skippers atop the puddles, and I wondered how they had received the memo so quickly.  But they turned out to be crickets just pretending to be water skippers. They resisted rescue, so I can only surmise they were enjoying their new "swimming pool."

We had noticed smoke drifting around the neighborhood; wondered where it was coming from; looked down into the valley to see a house on fire. And then suddenly, amid the lightning and the thunder, there were fire trucks with sirens blasting, as several fire companies showed up to douse the flames. (The fire was later reported to have probably been caused by a lightning strike; and yes, the house was saved.)

And then the sun came out and it turned into a sauna; and the temperatures soared to almost 90 degrees F.  Suddenly, it was hot and sticky and humid out. And that is when this beautiful butterfly chose to visit: it came by our yard on one of the hottest afternoons of the year.

We were inside, actually, and my husband saw it first. It was sitting on one of the rhododendrons outside the living room window, and he drew my attention to it, but I was too busy doing something else to look. "Go ahead, go away, butterfly, she doesn't care about you," he said to the butterfly. So I walked over to see it, and I thought at first that it was a red-spotted purple, but it had white patches on it that just didn't look familiar.

So out I went with my camera, and I searched all over the yard for the butterfly. I found it in the backyard, where it put on quite a show. It was a very friendly butterfly and it posed for many shots for me; what an obliging and calm and friendly creature, just full of grace. And it turns out that it is a white admiral; the red-spotted purple and the white admiral are two forms of the same species, Limenitis arthemis.

Now, there is some happy news that I received on this morning that I just can't wait to share. My sister who is in the hospital (I have told you about her: she's the original Butterfly Girl) has friends who have been providing the family with daily e-mail updates. And on this morning, the message that I read was Hallelujah! For they have told my sister that she may be released to go home next week, possibly as soon as Monday afternoon!

Was it just a coincidence that a fancy butterfly showed up just in time to help celebrate this news? I think not. So I whispered the news to the butterfly. (No, I'm no stranger to butterfly-whispering, as I have mentioned at least once before.) And then, I whispered some words of thanks to the Great Spirit who made the butterflies:

Thank you, thank you! The Butterfly Girl is coming home!!!

The song to accompany this image is a song about strength and overcoming adversity. I think it's appropriate to use it here, as I share the good news about my sister. The song is Pat Benatar, with Invincible.

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