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Metaphors of Life Journal: Spangles, Tortoiseshells and Buckeyes

January 22nd, 2023 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, do you need an injection of colour to lift you above the blahs of a bleak winter?

My apologies for being silent in this space for a few weeks. I have been pushing hard to complete a major project with an end of the month deadline. That deadline has now been met. Stay tuned for more on the fruits of that labour down the line.

It is my tradition at this time of year to do a retrospective of winged wonders from summers past to combat the rigours of winter. It has been a relatively mild winder in this area with the exception of the storm of the generation which walloped us before Christmas. But it has also been a very gray and bleak winter with little sunlight to cheer us up.

So I offer you some flashes of summer exuberance to brighten your day.

Great Spangled Fritillary

Nothing recalls exuberant July days more than this gaudy butterfly that frequents meadows throughout the season. It is well and truly spangled on the outer wing with silvery spots etched with black. On the upper side, the flash of golden orange is unmistakable from any distance. It stores up the shafts of sunlight to feed them back to us in the gray months.

Milbert’s Tortoiseshell

I do not see Milbert’s Tortoiseshells very often and prize them all the more because of it. This one had the fashion sense to pose on white wildflower to showcase its blend of orange, brown and black with speckles of white on the wing edges. It recalls a sun-bleached summer day in August when it wandered into my path.


Buckeyes show up late in the summer as they expand their range north across the Great Lakes. The striking, double-ringed eyespots, with black and silver frosting inside of them, have a tropical feel and are complimented by the squiggly orange bar edged with black. September is Buckeye month for followers of winged wonders.

As the gray days of winter persist, let these bright beauties of summer lift your spirit. And may they be a metaphor for the assurance that there is always sunlight at the end of the tunnel for the gray days that we all must endure in our lives.

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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