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A Glimpse Back in Time at Moments of Serendipity

January 12th, 2019 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, of all the tricks she has up her sleeve, perhaps serendipity is the purest expression of the wonders of Mother Nature.

Every year around this time, when the first deep freeze of January locks us in its grip, I take refuge in my collection of photographs of winged wonders. It allows me to escape back in time to summer days past and the chance encounters that made them blessed.


This fortunate meeting with an American Lady happened at one of my favourite summer haunts a couple of years ago. Lady butterflies always bring a smile to my face. But I was more than a little lucky to catch this one nestled into the welcoming embrace of a blooming wildflower.

This frozen moment is a study in contrasting hues – the elegant marbled black, white, pale blue and pink of the American Lady, with its two winking eye spots, set out against the golden yellow, feathery fronds of the host flower. Doesn’t the hazy, verdant green backdrop, hinting at other hidden glories, completes the effect?


Delaware Skippers are the epitome of the beauty to be found in simplicity. Larger than life in this photograph, we are able to make out the fanning network of veins in the creamy orange garb that adorns it. We can even see the checkered markings of its feathery antennae and the spindly, spider legs that support it.

This particular specimen had the fashion sense to perch for effect on a dead weed encased in the gossamer gauze of spider webs and nodding as if in prayer. How often do we see life and death coexisting in apparent harmony?


Great Spangled Fritillaries never cease to make my heart flutter as they dash about in a golden flash. It takes patience to catch one perched, but is well worth the effort. The gray-silver spots encased in cells on the hind wing are such subtle brush strokes as are the wavy black lines on the forewing.

The spray of soft purple and white of the wildflower, which this Fritillary has elected to rest upon, seem to my mind’s eye to resemble a miniature coral reef. Do you see how all the elements of this scene – the broad leaf to the left, the woody stem in the background, the delicate wildflower and the butterfly itself – are all leaning forward in unison?

These three photographs, taken over a period of several years, were all chance moments of perfect timing. Living metaphors for the unexpected joy of serendipity in which Mother Nature is so well versed.

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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