The Suitcase Lady


July 20, 2010, 11:25 pm

The ballet is being presented daily across the road from our house. Hundreds of white and sulphur butterflies dance and pirouette all day above our neighbor’s field of oats. I have no idea why they choose this particular spot for their performance, but I’m enjoying my ringside seat.

On our side of the road the principal dancers are more varied. We have provided some spectacular floral scenery for them. Monarchs flutter constantly in the milkweed blossoms, frequently doing mid-air pas de deux. Red Admirals are cavorting everywhere… the abundance of this classy little butterfly has not been this great since 1991. Stars such as the Mourning Cloak and Swallowtails stage solos through the blossoms. We are enjoying a stellar butterfly year along the shore.

When it became apparent that this was the summer of Lepidoptera, I headed for the computer and found a site listing all the families and subfamilies of Wisconsin butterflies. Throwing all caution to the winds, I hit the “Print” button and promptly depleted all the colored ink cartridges. It was worth the price. I now can stand in the front yard and identify our butterfly visitors. It would be so rude not to know the names of our guests. I’m sure we are hosting some Eastern Commas this week. They have lots of look-alike Comma cousins, but my computer generated guide book is a big help.

I know the butterfly show has a short run. The curtain of Fall will come down all too soon. I intend to see as many performances as possible.

4 Comments for this entry

  • evie

    Mary–What a lovely entry. Thanks so much for painting this vibrant picture for me. evie

  • Ann

    I am writing in response to your blog post about butterflies.  Do you know how the Mourning Cloak Butterfly came to be?  This is from a children’s book, of course.  Woodland Tales by Ernest Thompson Seton, 1905.  The book belonged to my father; it was obviously a favorite because he saved it,and I loved it too.  For some reason this particular story has always been my favorite.

    There was once a lady who dwelt in Camberwell.  She was so good to see that people called her “The Camberwell Beauty.”  She dressed so magnificently that her robe was covered with gold, and spangled with precious stones of most amazing colours.  Especially proud was she, of the row of big blue diamonds that formed the border; and she loved to go forth into the world to see and be seen; although she knew that the country was full of robbers who would be sure to steal her jewels if they could.  Then she made a clever plan, she kept on the beautiful things that she loved to dress in, but over all she hung a black velvet mourning cloak which nobody could possibly want to steal.  Then she went up and down the roads as much as she pleased.

  • Anne Smith

    Mary, This is so beautiful and – like all the rest of your entries – brings such grace and gentle beauty to my day!!


  • Tiara

    This is a really cool ardecal