There Must Be Magic

By GirlWithACamera

Fancy Bug / Butterfly Parade / Magic Portal

It was a magical day that just didn't start out that way, for I woke up, grieving my sister. It was the third anniversary of her death, and I told my husband I was not looking forward to the day. He wanted to jog, though, and even though I knew it would be way too hot for me, I went along. He thought I might feel better if I could just go and see some butterflies.

So we went over to the closed road by the gameland's shooting range. We got out of the car, and I announced, "Today, I am going to see a fancy bug!" The fancy bugs I'm referring to are hummingbird moths, which show up only on the very hottest days of the year. I had my camera in my new camera bag, my pink tunes box for music, and my monopod on my shoulder; I was ready!

And so I did my walk, and I got to a place where there are rocks, and a little side road that goes over to the other road, and there is a stand of wild thistles there with pink blooms on that are absolute catnip for butterflies and other pollinators. And there, oh yes, THERE WAS MY FANCY BUG!!!

I whipped out my monopod like nobody's business, and in seconds, I was taking photos of the fancy bug! My dream was coming true! I'm pretty sure I saw at least two of them. This fancy bug is called snowberry clearwing, or Hemaris diffinis. (There is a sort of maroon version of it that is a little bigger, and it is called a hummingbird clearwing, or Hemaris thysbe.)

These bugs are very fast and very spastic and they can be amazingly difficult to photograph. But I have a steady (though sweaty) hand, and the monopod really helped, for I could just stand there for a while and let the camera sit on the monopod, between bouts of snapping pictures.

And what else did I see on this day but a veritable PARADE of butterflies that absolutely - no doubt in my mind - had been arranged, just for me, for this auspicious occasion. For when some people go to Heaven, they go a-shouting! And my sister Barb, the Butterfly Girl, when she went, I'm sure she was accompanied by a butterfly parade!

There were viceroys, and eastern tiger swallowtails, and oh my gosh, another pipevine swallowtail, which you may see in the extras! And then some fritillaries, a monarch or two, a mourning cloak (yes, even this late in the year; I think of them mostly as spring butterflies), one of the bigger black swallowtails, a red-spotted purple, either a comma or a question mark, and then in the parking lot at the very end, one last tiny member of the parade, a pearl crescent!

I cannot believe my good fortune, for almost every butterfly I know and love showed up to honor my big sister on this day. I took so many pictures, I had so much fun, and I couldn't help thinking that it was orchestrated just for me. (Okay, okay, PLACES, everybody; HERE SHE COMES!!) And especially that very last one. (Oh yeah, we have one last tiny one to finish up the show; pearl, baby, get your butterfly buns OVER HERE! I mean it - RIGHT NOW!)

There was one more amazing thing for this day, and you all get to see it. Oh yeah, it only took me about five years to get this last shot. My husband stopped the car and dumped me out so I could get it. There is a door in the woods that we drive by all the time, and I covet that door, oh yes, I do. It is in the middle of nowhere and it sits among the trees. Yet it is a door. A door to nowhere? Or perhaps, a magic portal to delights, like so:

The Magic Portal.
There is a doorway that serves as a magic portal in these green woods. You can see light shining around it and through it. If you open the door and step through, it will take you to any PLACE you want to go, at any TIME you want to go (maybe even back or forward in time!). You get to open the door one time, and go through; you are guaranteed a safe trip back, if you wish to return.
Your question is this: Where does the doorway take you?
(You'll see my answer down below.)

This was a day that I had planned to be a day of mourning. But it turned into a day of celebration instead. Go figure! I got to see and photograph my fancy bug. Several of them, in fact. I got to witness the amazing parade of gorgeous butterflies, including the SECOND pipevine swallowtail in two days. And I got to see up close and photograph the magic portal. What a day! I ended up wearing a dress - not of sorrow, but of joy!

It is my custom to include a soundtrack song with my postings. And since I have three photos, let's have three songs.

First, the feeling that comes directly from my heart after every beautiful thing the Universe threw at me on a day when I woke up vulnerable and grieving is gratitude. So my first song is Led Zep, with Thank You.

Second, I am grateful for the magic of that special doorway in the middle of nowhere, which inspires in me such strange stories. Oh, and you know who's waiting on the other side of that door for me: my beloved sister! And we will walk together in the ocean again, for when I step through that door, I'll be in Atlantic City again, and she will be there with me on the beach, barefoot, for another round of sun, sand, and sisters! So here is Steppenwolf, with Magic Carpet Ride.

And third, man, it's unfair that the Universe took her from me, and some days I'm still reeling, but somehow, I'm mostly doing all right and living and being happy in spite of it all; and that is not any sort of betrayal at all, but it is as I know she would want it to be. Sister, I'm gonna live through this, but I still miss and love you. This song is for my big sister: Emmylou Harris sings a Johnny Cash tune, I Still Miss Someone.

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