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Retirement: Hoisting the Mainsails

April 15th, 2023 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, what better way to launch my retirement boat than to admire the first breath of spring?

I am now two weeks into retirement. You probably want to ask: Do you miss work? My answer: An emphatic no. Not at all. Not one bit. I do miss the people I worked with but two plus years of working from home eased that transition.

Mother Nature has smiled on me this week with a stretch of early April summer-like weather. A reward, it would seem, for hanging in and crossing the finish line. I have seized on the opportunity to get an early start on my retirement nature ramblings.

You may not associate butterflies with early April. But there are a few that spend the winter in adult form burrowed under the leaf litter in a state of diapause – a period of suspended development in response to adverse conditions. They emerge on the first warm days getting a head start on the season.

If you are a betting person, you can safely place your money on Mourning Cloaks being the first butterfly of the season. I have always thought that they are poorly named. There is nothing mournful about their rich brown cloak with the blue spot-band and corn yellow edges.

Right on the heels of the appearance of Mourning Cloaks come Compton Tortoiseshells. They are easy to overlook when their wings are closed displaying the dead leaf pattern of the outer wing. But when they spread their wings to showcase the tortoiseshell pattern of brown, black and yellow, you cannot help but take notice of them and their burst of colour.

The first wildflowers pushing up through the blanket of last autumn’s fallen leaves are a reliable harbinger of spring. I am not a wildflower expert so I do not know the name of this blue beauty. But that does not stop me from stopping to admire and be inspired by it.

I have heard it said that embracing retirement is akin to setting the mainsails on your new boat. These snapshots of spring are helping me to hoist the sales and launch into my days of leisure.

~ 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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