The Butterfly Whispered a Call to Play

The white butterfly that healed my heart!

My day wasn’t going well and it was still early.  Heading outside to hang around a butterfly, I guess, is one way I’m coping with confusing times.

I’ve probably written before that I love the smaller, perhaps less noticed butterflies, as much as I do the fantastically big and colorful ones.  They might be small, but up close, they have amazing patterns and intricate details.

While sitting with my morning coffee, feeling altogether displaced, which is an experience that hit me hard after a recent move, I was drawn to the white butterfly dancing around my container plants. 

I had moved the plants to the corner of the lawn, hoping they might catch some rain.  I put the bird bath in the middle of the containers, which to my surprise, created a space I especially liked.

I’m pretty sure my winged visitor was the  Cabbage White Butterfly. 

A pair showed up about ten days ago and have since been fluttering around my sparse container garden.

Mostly, the butterfly was getting some needed morning sunshine, favoring the Lemon Balm for this purpose, and the yellow Lantana for sipping nectar.

I sat down in the grass.  A few times, I thought the pretty white butterfly was going to land on my arm or shoulder, but instead, it playfully swooped and danced around me and my camera. 

A silent call to play took hold and for a little while, I was free to play, just like the pretty white butterfly!


Click on images for a closer look. 

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Butterfly ~ An Invitation

The Tiger Swallowtail arrived before the plants did.  A single large butterfly with tails intact and colorful vibrancy innocent of the inevitable markings to come.

First Swallowtail in 2013 backyard photos, by Rosa Blue for Green Healing Notes, the Blog!

Winged on Verbena

The winds were picking up. The purple Verbena had grown several inches. The blooms moved up and down with each gust of wind.

The big butterfly glided only slightly above our heads.  I imagined it needed nectar and sunlight, the latter of which had faded.

I was glad to have the flowering Verbena.

My son and I had both seen the single butterfly flying around for a few days.  I decided to go get a fast growing nectar-plant.  Arriving home from my short trip to the nursery, a fresh brood of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails greeted me.  Butterflies were everywhere.  I couldn’t believe it!

Two were flying high, playing together, and at least a dozen more were coming down for a visit.  I was delighted to see the butterflies together, flying above and around my little home.

I’m dealing with a fair amount of sadness these days.  Springtime has helped, but my lack of motivation to do the things I normally enjoy lurks in the corners of my days and nights. 

The idea that the butterflies have a genetic memory and know they can find nectar in my little garden lifted my spirit.

I remembered the day, not too long ago, when a flock of Robins came to fetch the lone resident that captured my heart while spending the Winter eating berries from a Holly tree by my window.

It was a grand and exciting scene when those of ‘the same feather’ greeted the Winter Robin.  I don’t know where they were headed when they left, but they sure appeared to have a plan.

I’ve regressed.  Back to the butterfly.

We sat on the patio near the container garden and watched, quietly and still.  The yellow-striped butterfly held tightly, for the blooms really were blowing hard.  I imagine being a butterfly in strong winds isn’t all that easy, now that I think about it. 

I haven’t seen the new brood together again, but I feel sure the butterfly in the wind will tell of the little corner of nectar it found.

Swallowtail in the Wind

Butterfly, you have an official blooming invitation to my yard and the little green garden I planted just for you.

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Winged ~ Perched and In Flight

Skippers perched drinking nectar and a little hummingbird on the way.

Silver-spotted Skipper and a hummingbird on the way!

(Right Click / View Images for a Closer Look)

It was the hummingbird I was looking for when I walked over to the flowering gardens and met up with a zealous group of butterflies, which I believe were Silver-spotted Skippers.  What a fun group of butterflies!

The Skippers may not seem as spectacular as the bright Zebra Swallowtail or awe-inspiring like the Monarchs, but these winged friends are very playful.  They fluttered and flitted to and fro, hovering only briefly and often gathering together on a single flower.

According to Geyata Ajilvsgi, in my all time favorite Butterfly reference book, Butterfly Gardening for the South, these winged garden friends are, “pugnacious in character and will attack just about anything in its range, especially other butterflies, no matter which species they happen to be”  (pg 150).

I would never have guessed that what I thought was simply a family  generously sharing in their source of energy, might instead have been a combative rivalry.

Butterfly Images "Silver-spotted Skippers" drinking sweet nectar

I’ve missed a few Horticulture Therapy group gatherings, but I’ve tried to keep  a connection with the gardens by visiting.  The images I come home with help me remember the Green Healing moments in time.

Image of Skipper Butterfly "Green Healing"

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Works Cited:

Ajilvsgi, Geyata. 

     Butterfly Gardening for the South. 

     Dallas, Texas: 

     Taylor Publishing Company, 1991.


The Audubon Society Pocket Guides.

     Familiar Butterflies, North America. 

     New York:

     A Chanticleer Press Edition

     Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.,  1990.