Michael's Metaphors of Life Journal header image 2

Butterfly Bonanza: A Blessed Reprieve from the Craziness of Life

July 14th, 2018 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, will I have to wait another four years for it to happen again?

Alert: Full on nature geek taking control in this post. Read at your own hazard.

It is a rare occurrence. Years go by as I wait for the next one. I wonder all too often if it happened on a day I was stuck inside and missed it. There are nearly there days that I think might blossom into it, but fall just short. I fantasize about it on the really slow days.

No, not that! Get your mind out of the gutter! I am referring to that elusive summer day – which can only happen if the weather conditions are perfect – when the butterfly population undergoes a mini explosion.

Last Sunday was the day. I headed out to my favourite conservation area hoping for a good outing. Within the first half hour, I knew it was going to be very good. Butterflies were everywhere almost tripping over each other. An hour in it made the leap to great. I spotted movement in the grass and aimed my binoculars at the spot.


A Coral Hairstreak! I was fortunate to capture this photograph of the nickel-sized beauty with its orange spot bar resembling a miniature coral reef. It was only the second time I had sighted this species in 15 years of butterfly sleuthing. A Coral Hairstreak is a red letter day happening.

The Comma butterflies, so named because they have a comma shaped white mark on the dead leaf pattern that camouflages the outer wing, are also favourites of mine. There are four that can be seen in this area. My hope is to record them all before the end of the summer. On this day, I did the full sweep.


Commas are lookalikes and very difficult to distinguish from one another. I believe this one is a Grey Comma – usually uncommon in this area and a good find. The scalloped wing edges, handsome markings and sun-glory colouring never fail to impress me.


This somewhat tattered Milbert’s Tortoiseshell, which posed whimsically upside down on a wildflower, may have escaped an encounter with a hungry predator. Milbert’s are also uncommon. Some years I do not see any. But this year I seem to see them every time I go out.

My best day ever for butterflies was around this time of year in 2014 when 34 species sashayed across my path. When the count was in for this year’s big day, I had tied that record. It may not seem like such a big deal to you. But for unrepentant nature geek, it is nirvana.

Butterflies are my winged metaphor for freedom. Freedom from the craziness, the unrelenting demands and the what’s lurking around the next corner worry that defines life in these turbulent times. For a few precious hours all of that baggage faded away, and for that I am truly grateful.

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

~ Michael Robert Dyet is 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

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home 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.

Tags:   · · · · · No Comments