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When I Grow Old and Wear the Bottom of My Trousers Rolled: My Favourite Haunt

February 8th, 2020 by Michael Dyet


I grow old.. I grow old…

I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled

T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Hmmm, is there an upside to being change averse?

I am creature of habit. Always have been, but that character trait becomes more prominent as I get older. I will concede that this tendency is not always healthy. I do not want better. It did not need to be improved. I want it the same as it was yesterday. That refrain plays regularly in my mind. But for better or worse, I have made peace with who I am and how I approach life.

As an unapologetic nature geek, I have settled on a handful of locations for my summer ramblings. My favourite haunt is a little known, out-of-the-way conservation area that is lightly used and a haven for the winged wonders I worship. Let me take you on a tour of my glory spot.


Tour Stop 1: The track from the parking lot. Just an entry point for most, but I linger along that stretch knowing that the weedy edges will be alive with dime-sized grass Skippers hopscotching from plant to plant. Orange flashes of light overlooked by most, I eagerly seek them out.

Tour Stop 2: The footpath through the meadow. I keep my eyes peeled for an elusive Coral Hairstreak while admiring Green Darners, Crescents and assorted small Skimmers.

Tour Stop 3: Past the first swamp pond, I focus on the path to spot the hiding-in-plain sight Comma butterflies whose dead leaf camouflage I have attuned myself to detect. A  Question Mark for sure, probably an Eastern and, if I am lucky, a Gray or Green.

Tour Stop 4: The hot corner where the trail forks. This unassuming, sunny spot adjacent to another swamp pond seems to be a convergence point where butterflies and dragonflies alike come to converse and frolic. I am always hoping for a repeat of the Fiery Skipper that appeared here several years back well north of its usual range.

Tour Stop 5: The small creek by the bridge. My reliable spot in early summer for an always stirring Spiketail – a Twin-spotted or Arrowhead, but a Delta-spotted is also possible.

Tour Stop 6: The hidden swamp pond. I pick my way through the brambles to yet another swamp pond known to me. Guaranteed to be a hive of activity with a dozen or more dragonflies cruising over the pond. If I am lucky, a Painted Lady may be waiting for me there.


Tour Stop 7: The sloping trail through the woods. A stop to scan the area where the Dreamy Duskywing showed up is a must as is pausing at each sunny glade to commune with its residents. Staying alert the whole way for any number of blue mosaic Darners.

Tour Stop 8: Side path near the top of the hill. Bushwacking through tall grass in the tiny meadow. A Roadside Skipper may put in an appearance here along with a Great Spangled Fritillary. In mid to late summer, the drooping tree branches can be laden with Darners.


Heading Home: By 3:30, I have retraced my steps to the parking lot perhaps adding a Comptons Tortoiseshell  or Racket-tailed Emerald to my day list.

When I grow old and wear the bottom of my trousers rolled and I can longer hike these hallowed trails, I will retrace them countless times in in my mind. Remembering every curve, hollow and sunny glade with crystal clarity. Still extracting metaphors of life from their bounty.

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 .

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3 responses so far ↓

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  • 2 Peggy Mar 6, 2020 at 6:17 pm

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  • 3 Michael Dyet Mar 6, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    Thanks so much! Glad you enjoy my posts.