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The July Waltz of Carefree Winged Wonders

January 6th, 2018 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, what is an unrepentant nature lover to do when caught in the vice grip of the dead of winter?

We are in the midst of a January deep freeze in this area. And just to be clear, I am talking about a teeth-chattering, bone-chilling, are you freaking kidding me, minus 30 wind chill winter assault on our senses. Every conversation begins with “Can you believe this cold!”.

It is the perfect time to hunker down inside, brew a big batch of coffee and revisit some of the winged children of the goddess of summer. The three I have chosen, from my summer 2017 excursions, are very common species – easy to find and yet always a delight to behold.


Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

This Canadian Tiger Swallowtail was intent on feeding on a tempting wildflower which gave me the luxury of time to creep closer and capture it.

Do you see how the outside of the wings displays a geometric pattern of artist’s touch markings that is a landscape all its own? Pale yellow furrows subdivided by a network of thread-thin and thicker, meandering black rivers. Scalloped edges on the fragile swallow tail, with crescent moons of white and orange, giving way to the pastel blue band.


Great-spangled Fritillary

How could I ever tire of the golden orange flare of a Great-spangled Fritillary, with its pumpkin seed spots and quivering black lines, darting across my field of view? This specimen seems magically suspended against a background of verdant green while perched like a feather on the fronds of a whitish-purple wildflower.


Silver-spotted Skipper

Does it matter that Silver-spotted Skippers are an easy find? Not in the least. Each one still stirs my heart with its photo-friendly attire – the telltale white splash and pale orange blotches against the walnut-brown wings. Like the Fritillary above, this flawless specimen had the fashion sense to position itself on a stage of mid-summer green pageantry for maximum effect.

In the barren, frozen scenes of a biting January, I need a metaphorical escape to summer glory to sooth my impatient heart. Nothing works better than a glance back at the July waltz of carefree, winged wonders in the full-blown extravagance of summer.

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 or the novel online companion at

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