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Michael's Metaphors of Life Journal

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The Fable of the Marsh Gnome and the Fearless Dragonfly

July 11th, 2020 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, can a fable help you fly in the face of fear?

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Maurice the Marsh Gnome. I know that may seem strange to you. You know about Garden Gnomes, but have probably never heard of a Marsh Gnome.

Until very recently, I myself was a Garden Gnome in a very nice yard in a small town not far from here. I greeted people who came to visit, put a smile on their face and spent my leisure time communing with the flowers and shrubs. It was an idyllic existence.

But one day earlier this summer, my owners picked me up and took me for a ride in their car. I thought perhaps they were going on vacation and taking me with them. But instead, they brought me to this conservation area and set me on this log at the edge of a marsh pond. I was confused and distressed at first and appealed to my owners.

“Why are you leaving me here? Don’t you like me anymore?”

“Oh no, Maurice,” they replied. “Please don’t think that. We love you. But we have a very important job for you. We are in the midst of troubled times. Many people are living in fear. Day after day they see reports in the news chock full of worrisome facts and figures that make it seem like the grim reaper is waiting outside their door .

“We decided to leave you here so you would bring a smile to the faces of people who walk by. For a moment or two, they will forget about their fears and enjoy life the way they used to.”

I was humbled by the new job they had given me and resolved to do it to the best of my ability. I have observed and learned much from the creatures with which I share this lovely pond. A Twelve-Spotted Skimmer dragonfly landed on me one day and I struck up a conversation.

“You’re quite pretty, Mr. Twelve-Spotted. I’ve admired you for some time now. But yesterday I saw a bird swoop down and try to eat you. Doesn’t that make you afraid to fly?”

“Well, Maurice, there is always that risk. But if I gave into that fear, I would never fly again. I do quite enjoy flying. It is what I was created to do. I figured out that the risk of getting snatched by a bird is the price to be paid for the joy of flying. So I choose to fly in the face of fear, if you will pardon the pun, and embrace life.”

He was a very wise dragonfly. He helped me better understand the important job I now have. I am here to help humans understand that living in fear of what you do not understand is a terrible trap. Far better to ask questions and understand for yourself what it is you fear. Knowledge defeats fear.

My job is to be a symbol for the freedom that comes from being a seeker of the truth.

I want you to understand that the truth often lays buried beneath unexamined facts the same way new growth awaits beneath the dead leaves of yesterday’s fears.

Take if from Maurice the Marsh Gnome: Your creator meant for you to live and embrace life, not to hide from it.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week

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Lookalike Hairstreaks: The Subtle Line Between Fact and Fiction

July 4th, 2020 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, do you weigh the evidence before you form your opinion?

The steamy, sweltering days of summer have arrived on schedule despite the extraordinary times in which we are living. Glory days for butterflies whose weather preference can be summed up as the hotter the better.

There is nothing I enjoy more than hiking through wildflower emblazoned meadows and sunny woodland glades in search of my winged wonders. However, as much as I take pleasure in the pastime for its pure pleasures, I also often find life lessons in the bargain.

For nature geeks such as me, Hairstreaks are one of the most exciting finds for several reasons: they are by and large uncommon, their nickel-sized makes them easy to overlook, their lookalike appearance makes them a challenge to identify.

The Hairstreak at the top of this post is a Banded Hairstreak. The one directly above is a Striped Hairstreak. Can you see the difference? It takes a close and deliberate examination to do so. They happen to be feeding on the same wildflower which makes it all that much easier to mistake one for the other.

The life lesson: There is very often a subtle line between fact and fiction. Those with vested interests in a particular point of view will blur that line quite intentionally to promote their agenda. And once they get us on their road, they will use all the tools at their disposal to keep us there.

Lookalike Hairstreaks – a metaphor for the necessity to make up our own minds, based on a thoughtful and independent examination of the facts, rather than being hoodwinked by those who massage the truth for their own purposes.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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The Significance of 53: A Metaphor for Unsettling Times

June 27th, 2020 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, was it just an odd dream or a message to keep the faith?

I seldom remember my dreams other than a vague recollection. But one night earlier this week I had a dream about which I did recall specific details. Being an analytical person, I was able to connect most aspects of the dream with something in my day to day life. Most but not all.

The Dream: I was forced to find a new place to live on very short notice. I was able to find and secure a new apartment and move in within the improbable span of time of 48 hours.

Real Life: Back in March when COVID-19 hit Canada, things changed rapidly at my place of employment. On a Friday we were told our offices were remaining open, but we should take our laptops home just in case. By Sunday, within 48 hours, everything change and we were told we would be working from home.

The Dream: The apartment I rented was unusually large by modern standards and was in an unusual L-shape with two long, narrow areas.

Real Life: Our lives have been contracted into confined spaces during the COVID-19 lockdown and have been literally bent out of shape. Subconsciously, we long for more room and freedom to move around and for things to resume their normal pattern or shape.

The Dream: The entrance to my new apartment was odd. I had to pass from the hall through a set of doors into a vestibule which was a work area for the apartment building staff. I then had to pass through another set of doors to get into my apartment. Every time I entered that vestibule I was momentarily confused thinking I was in my apartment.

Real Life: In this work-at-home period, our home space and our work space are one and the same which can be disorienting.

The Dream: The entire floor of the apartment building had a wraparound balcony with no dividers. Everyone’s apartment opened on to this communal balcony.

Real Life: During the COVID-19 lockdown, we have had to avoid contact with others and are craving more human interaction.

But here is the odd thing in the dream. The building manager came to my apartment and told me I needed to provide extra cheques for $53 per month as I had overlooked a clause in the lease. 53 is an oddly specific number, but not one I could make any connection with.

I do not talk about it much, but I do have a deep faith and a strong church connection. So I turned to good old Google to see if the number 53 has a spiritual significance.

I stumbled on The Meaning of 53 website which maintains that 53 is a number of great significance. Why? The number 3 represents the trinity – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Certainly cannot dispute that. The number 5 represents man – by virtue of the fact that we have two arms, two legs and one head. A bit of a stretch, but it works.

53 itself is an indivisible number, meaning it cannot be divided equally by any other number. Hence, the number 53 is said to symbolize that we are indivisible with God.

I am not a religious scholar, so I cannot speak to the validity of this spiritual interpretation. But it provides an explanation for that one aspect of the dream that I could not understand.

53: Indivisibility with a greater presence. The metaphor provides me with some comfort in the odd and unsettling time in which we are living. It may or may not work for you – just putting it out there for what it may be worth.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Star Trek Revisited: A Cautionary Tale for Current Times

June 20th, 2020 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, is resistance futile or a moral imperative?

I have never been what would be described as a trekkie – the nickname for diehard fans of the Star Trek television series. But I did occasionally tune into some of the later iterations of the series such as Deep Space Nine.

What I found compelling about the series was the alien races that were created as antagonists for the United Federation of Planets. Looking back now, I can see that many of these alien races were a form of social commentary – metaphors for personality types in our society.

KLINGONS

The Klingons, including the iconic Worf who served with the Federation, were a warrior race – swarthy humanoids characterized by prideful ruthlessness and brutality. A complete language was developed for the Klingons which became somewhat of a cult.

Have you come across a Klingon in the course of your life? Someone who sees every interaction as a battle to be won or lost. Frustrating people to deal with, but they do serve a purpose – teaching us the importance of standing up to bullies.

FERENGI

The Ferengi were a form of comic relief in Star Trek. But they also satirize a very real character type. Ferengis cared only about profit. They had 285 Rules of Acquisition that guided all their choices in life.

We all have a few Ferengi in our lives. They remind us how easy it is to slide into the worship of material things instead of the intangibles that are most important.

VULCANS

Whether you are a trekkie or not, you have most likely heard of Mr. Spock who is the poster child for the Vulcan race. Vulcans are known for striving to live by logic and reason with as little interference from emotion as possible.

Is there a Spock in your life? I am willing to be that there is. He or she can be irritating to deal with, but very useful to have around when events start to spiral out of control.

THE BORG

Ah yes, The Borg – perhaps the most distinctive alien race and the most cutting social commentary. The Borg were a race without individuality where every member is part of a collective consciousness to achieve perfection. They travel the galaxy in cube-shaped spaceships forcefully assimilating other species.

The Borg are mindless drones that slavishly serve the collective for the greater good. Never questioning authority. Never thinking for themselves. Never going their own way.

Be a Vulcan, or a Ferengi, or even a Klingon if you must. But please, do not be a Borg. Society is not well served by those who do not exercise their own intelligence.

We are the Borg. Resistance is futile. Or is it?

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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The Lost Year: Plexiglass and Korean Baseball

June 14th, 2020 by Michael Dyet
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“You’re trying to eat grass that isn’t there. Why don’t you give it a chance to grow?” ~ Richard Adams, Watership Down

Hmmm, which iconic image will define the lost year of 2020?

True confession: I am watching a Korean Baseball Organization game on TSN this Sunday afternoon. The Korean stadium is empty, except for four mascots and five cheerleaders in face masks. But at least it is a live sports event. A sign of the times for all the wrong reasons.

Most professional sports remain shut-down due to the COVID-19 restrictions leaving fans with withdrawal symptoms. Thankfully, professional golf has resumed play (sans spectators), so I can switch over to the Charles Schwab Challenge soon for my sports fix.

Note: I would much rather be out hiking today even with the unseasonably cool temperature. But my temperamental back is not being terribly cooperative right now. A two and a half hour hike yesterday is all it will tolerate for this weekend.

When the COVID-19 lockdown began back in March, many of us did not expect it to last this long. Were we naïve? Perhaps, but it has been difficult to read where things will go. We have not been down this road before and therefore have no frame of reference. We also did not take into account the subtle underlying forces that drive political decision-making.

I certainly did not expect that these images would become iconic in the summer of 2020.

Stressed courier drivers running up the sidewalk, dropping the parcel on the front step, snapping a picture of it (with the house number in view) on their digital device for delivery verification, and running back to the truck for the record number of deliveries still to be made.

A 25 person line-up to get into Mark’s Work Warehouse on a Sunday morning – and an only slightly shorter line-up for the Sportcheck next door.

Waiting at the gate to the conservation area as a debit machine taped to an old hockey stick is extended to me through a hole in a piece of plexiglass for payment. This year may be the death knoll for actual cash.

Be patient. Stay the course. We’ll get through this together.

That is the mantra for 2020 – a year that many are already referring to woefully as the lost year. If you are a twenty-something, a lost year may be a mere inconvenience. But the age of 62, with more productive years behind me than waiting ahead, it is a bitter pill to swallow.

Patience is not my strong suit and never has been. I am doing my best, in the spirit of the Richard Adams metaphor, to cultivate it. The problem is that the grass is there to be eaten. But there is a sheet of plexiglass between it and me and a sign that says:

Look, but don’t touch.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week

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Lessons Learned from a Child’s Moment of Delight

June 6th, 2020 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, where better to turn for perspective than the eyes of a child?

It has been a troubling week. COVID-19 and the restrictions around it continue to weigh heavy on us. News that several major retail corporations have filed for bankruptcy, in part because of the COVID-19 lockdown, gives us more cause for concern about the state of the economy.

The unfortunate highlight, or perhaps I should say lowlight, of the week was the shocking case of George Floyd’s death and the police officers involved. The violent protests across the U.S. and Canada stirred the already boiling pot.

We all deal with stress differently. One of my tactics is the comfort of routine. My daily work at home routine includes 15 minute walks mid-morning and mid-afternoon and a 30 to 40 minute walk around the neighbourhood at the end of the day. Structure keeps me sane.

These walks also give me time to observe human behaviour. It is very much a mixed bag out there these days.

On the one hand, some people are getting back to normal. Sitting on their porches drinking coffee and reading the newspaper. Talking their dog for a walk, or letting their dog walk them, as the case may be. Teaching their kids to ride a bicycle. Doing home improvement projects.

On the other hand, distrustful people still peer out their windows with displeasure as if I am being irresponsible being outdoors. I have seen people wearing a face mask while cutting their grass or just stepping out to pick up the newspaper. Hand-made do not enter if… signs are still plastered on store doors and windows.

We are still a society divided at present. But earlier I witnessed a scene that brought a smile to my face and gave me hope for our collective consciousness.

A young father was washing his car using a spray gun attached to a garden hose. His daughter, who appeared to be 3 or 4 years of age, was intent on getting in on the act as young children do to stay at the center of their parents’ lives.

The father paused a moment to send a spray of water over his daughter. The child shrieked in delight, giggled, toddled away on her small legs, and then came back for more. Another spray of water, another shriek and giggle. Another retreat and return. I could not help but smile and be reassured at the heartwarming scene.

I do not know how much the child understands about COVID-19 and its impact. She may be too young to fully grasp what is happening. But at the same time, she is likely aware that things are not quite normal. But she is not letting the situation dampen her spirits. We can take valuable lessons in the current environment from this carefree child.

Lesson: Take pleasure in the simple things. Lesson: Live fully in the moment. Lesson: Have faith that life is essentially good and can be trusted to see us through today. Lesson: Tomorrow is a day away and not to be worried about until it arrives.

So let us take delight in the simple moments. They may be fleeting. But if we string such moments together, they become a treasured necklace we can wear to carry us through the trying days when life is not so kind.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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COVID-19, Larry Crowne and the First-Time-Evers

May 30th, 2020 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, will there be a happily ever after for those who fell between the cracks in the COVID-19 restrictions?

Earlier this week, I watched Larry Crowne on television. It is a 2011 Tom Hanks movie which I saw at the theatre and watched a couple of times on television. I am a big Tom Hanks fan, so I enjoyed it one more time. In this period of lockdown, we are spending a lot of time in front of the flat screen re-watching favourite shows and movies.

In the event that you have not seen the movie, (spoiler alert) it is the story of a divorced, middle-aged man who loses his job at a big box store. Circumstances compel him to give up his house, swap his gas-guzzling SUV for a scooter and take a job as a short order cook. He also enrols in a community college and falls for an instructor played by Julia Roberts.

Larry Crowne is a quaint and charming, feel-good flick. However, it occurred to me that the character Larry Crowne could be viewed as a metaphor for the times in which we are living. A large percentage of the working population has been furloughed because of COVID-19. No money coming in to pay the bills, except what can be obtained from the government support program assuming one qualifies.

For those who were unfortunate enough to already be living on the edge financially, it must have been like having the well-worn rug pulled out from under them without warning.

In the townhouse complex I live in, several units were vacated abruptly in the early weeks of the lockdown. These were not end of the month, moving to a bigger place situations. They had all the earmarks of our bank account is empty, we’re behind on the rent/mortage, we’re out of options bug outs.

I feel for this people whose livelihoods, one might argue, have been sacrificed for the proverbial greater good.

It can be said that there were no better alternatives under the circumstances. But that is small comfort to the people affected. I confess that I am conflicted on this point. I am one of the lucky ones whose job has continued uninterrupted beyond the requirement to work at home. A part of me feels guilty at my good fortune.

Unprecedented decisions with far reaching ramifications were made, by those in positions of authority whose job descriptions include difficult judgment calls, in the interest of the health and safety of the public.

Not everyone agrees with those decisions. Last weekend, a thousand people gathered in Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods Park to express their displeasure. While I do not condone their behaviour, I understand it to be a calculated act of civil disobedience to make a point.

We have experienced a lot of first-time-evers in the last couple of months. For the first-time-ever, heathy people were effectively quarantined. For the first-time-ever, shopping malls became ghost towns for an indefinite period. For the first-time-ever, physical distancing became not rude, but a legal requirement and a social imperative.

COVID-19 was the impetus to change the rules. And oh my, change they did. For better or for worse, civil liberties have been compromised in the short term. Some contend things will never go back to the way they used to be. I get an uneasy feeling when I hear that proclamation. When the rules are bent, experience shows that the pendulum often does not shift back all the way.

In the movie, Larry Crowne lived happily ever after. Sadly, that will not be the case for many in the current circumstances.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Preparing for the New Normal: We Each Have a Say

May 23rd, 2020 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, who gets to determine what the new normal will be?

For the past couple of months, I have stuck to my “Up Close and Personal” post series with photos of butterflies and dragonflies from summers past. It was a conscious decision to forgo commentaries and inject some of the beauty of nature into your lives as an antidote for the COVID-19 lockdown.

Now we are beginning to emerge, in baby steps, on the other side of that period of restraint. #flatten the curve and #stayhome are beginning to give way to #the new normal. We are being told that life as we once knew it has been flipped on its head forever.

There is no question that what we have been through is breeding change. The question is: How much change? Will it be a full 180º shift? Or only 90º or as little as 45º? I am not sure quite where the dial will ultimately land, but I believe we each have some influence over it.

A bit of perspective: normal is not a constant and never has been. What is normal for you might not be normal for me. What was normal for me at the age of 30 is very different from my normal at the age of 62.

For elected officials, normal is defined as whatever point of view is most likely to get them elected and into a position of power. But do not get me started on that rant!

Temporarily overshadowed at the moment is the fact that we already live in a world of constant change. What was normal six months ago might be antiquated today even without the impetus of a pandemic.

So, how do we chart a path through the uncertainties ahead? Let me use a real-life example to show the way.

Last Sunday morning, I fired up my laptop to log onto my church’s streamed service. Alas, no internet connection. After muttering a few four letter words, the following conversation took place between me and my less reactionary alter ego.

Are you done cursing? Reboot the modem, Michael.

Right, of course. What the (expletive deleted)? No lights on the modem at all!

Are you done cursing? Hit reset on the power bar, Michael.

Right, of course. Damn, still no lights on the modem at all. What the (expletive deleted)?

Are you done cursing? Check the electrical breakers, Michael.

Right, of course. Ah yes, the breaker tripped. Flip it back on. Modem working now. Internet working now. All good.

What is the point in relaying this internal debate? Simply this: Before we brace for what may be, we need to hit the reset button on our individual lives. Take some time to recalibrate and make an informed decision about what today and tomorrow will look like.

In the process, we have to ask ourselves a fundamental question. Do I want to live in fear and make decisions accordingly, or get on with my life and choose joy over fear? As for me, I choose joy

Here is the tough part. Taking that control and making that decision may mean saying to some people around us: You go your way and I’ll go mine. Never an easy choice, but having the courage of our convictions is what will steer each of us safely into a new normal of our own choosing.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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The Butteflies of Spring: Up Close and Personal

May 16th, 2020 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, have the early season species wondered about the lack of human admirers this year?

Spring has returned after a very unwelcome late blast of winter. COVID-19 restrictions are loosening. Alas, the conservation areas, now permitted to welcome us, are not yet ready to open their gates. Such bitter disappointment for the May holiday weekend! The early season species will have to wait another week before we arrive to waltz among them.

So let’s get up close and personal, in virtual fashion once again, with specimens from summers past.


MOURNING CLOAK

Forget about Robins. Mourning Cloak’s are the definitive first sign of spring. Emerging in the first thaw in early April or even late March. Enjoying a remarkably long life span by butterfly standards. The generation born in early summer hibernates through the winter and emerges again in spring. Quite regal with its chocolate brown cloak with creamy border and blue spot band.


QUESTION MARK

A charter member of the Comma butterfly family, named after the comma shaped white mark on the dead leaf pattern of the outer wing. The dot below the comma, forming a stylized question mark, gives this species its name. Early season specimens are adorned with this white frosting on the wing edges. Rumour has it some are migratory.


RED ADMIRAL

A cousin of the Mourning Cloak. Found almost everywhere from forest clearings, stream sides, fields, gardens and city parks. Pugnacious little devils – darting out at almost everything crossing their territory. So common I take them for granted and have to remind myself of their particular beauty. This specimen displayed its colours to full effect by perching on the ground.

EASTERN COMMA

Tough to distinguish from its sibling the Question Mark. Lacks the dot below the curved line that sets apart that species. Very skittish and camera shy. Dashes off and flies erratically when approached. But ever so photogenic perched diagonally on a white wildflower with a sprig of oat grass for perspective.

Beauty can be a contagion too. No social distancing here. Get up close and personal. It is allowed.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Spiketails: Angel Wings of Gossamer Up Close and Personal

May 9th, 2020 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, will I be out in the fields in time to marvel at the angel wings of gossamer once more?

There is at last a glimmer of light on the horizon in this time of COVID-19 lockdown. The much anticipated flattening of the curve is finally happening. In turn, the first signs of a new version of spring is peeking its head out of the quarantine winter we have been caught in.

So it seems appropriate to focus the latest Up Close and Personal post on my favourite dragonfly species: Spiketails. They are by nature secretive and hard to find not unlike we all have been of late. There are three found in this area.


TWIN-SPOTTED SPIKETAIL

Named after the paired yellow spots on the abdomen. Hard to find, but reliably hangs out in early summer around the foot bridge at my favourite summer haunt. Exquisite translucent wings on this perfect specimen.

Angel wings of gossamer. Light passes through them as if through an invisible prism.


ARROWHEAD SPIKETAIL

Named after the dramatic yellow arrow-shaped spots on the abdomen. Uncommon in these parts. In my many years of dragonfly sleuthing, I have only come across two of them. This one clings precariously on a tiny weed stem.

Angel wings of gossamer. Almost lost in the soft blur of greenery.


DELTA-SPOTTED SPIKETAIL

Named after… Well, to be honest, I don’t really understand the name. But yes, challenging to distinguish from the Twin-Spotted. Consider it the slightly smaller cousin. This one perches in picturesque fashion on the smooth bark of a tree trunk.

Angel wings of gossamer. Delicate lacework like the finest cotton.

Beauty can be a contagion too. No social distancing here. Get up close and personal. It is allowed.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

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