nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘butterfly

butterfly

with 4 comments

~

~

butterfly

~

scrap of paper

plucked from my hand

wind a tease

always one wing beat

beyond the finger tip

attempts to read

its delicate code

of dots

and dashes

~

a yellow Post-it note

folded on the tower

of a blue sky cornflower

a tatter

a musical note

set to the panic

of butterfly flight

~

a curtsy and away

across the field

~

pursued by a butterfly net

and a killing jar

~

~

Copyright Jane Spavold Tims 2018

 

Written by jane tims

May 30, 2018 at 7:00 am

Posted in wild life

Tagged with , , ,

more butterfly spaces

with 6 comments

On our trip to Ontario, I did a little chasing of butterflies.  I was trying for a photo so I could identifyanother butterfly for my ‘life list’.  So far I have collected two:  ‘Monarch’ and ‘Viceroy’!

The field I focussed on had a lively population of yellow butterflies, and I thought it would be easy to catch one in a photograph.  I was wrong!

If I stood still and waited for them to come to me, they would eventually flutter nearby but be gone by the time I had the camera in focus.  If I chased after them… well that was just silly.

Eventually I did capture an image as one butterfly settled for a second on the purple head of a Red Clover (Trifolium pratense L.).

Once I had my photo, I could identify the new member of my ‘collection’ – a Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice).  Its distinguishing characteristics are a double spot on the underside of the hindwing and a submarginal row of dark spots.  According to my source, the Clouded Sulphur is similar to the Pink-edged Sulphur (Colias interior) but the Pink-edged Sulphurhas a single spot on the underwing and no row of dark spots.

The experience of chasing this butterfly reminded me of a study I used to play on the piano when I was younger.  The piece was by Chopin, the well-named ‘Butterfly Etude’.  It was a hard piece (although I was playing an ‘easy’ version), made up of  sets of of detached and un-detached octaves, played in rapid staccato.  At the time I thought of it as just another study in agony, but now I realise how aptly it represents the inelegant, bouncy flight of the butterfly!  

 

étude opus 25, no. 9 – Chopin

~

wrist staccato

octave stretches

disarticulated

sprite

wings a-flutter

closed and open

cloud to clover

bouncy bright

~

flirt and quiver

tip and stumble

clouded sulphur

butterflight

~

© Jane Tims    2011

Written by jane tims

October 9, 2011 at 7:19 am

butterfly spaces

with 7 comments

Can you tell the difference between a Viceroy butterfly and a Monarch butterfly?
 
I am a biologist and very interested in plant taxonomy.  You would think I would have some interest in identifying insects.  However, I have allowed the insect world to occupy a bucket of incomprehensible goo in my mind.
 
However, I have emerged from ambivalence.  Last week, my husband and I visited a little-used railway siding as part of my plan to begin a series of poems on abandonment and repurposing.  The first view we encountered was of a lovely orange butterfly perched on the metal rail of the track.

Viceroy butterfly on the rail of a little-used track

I took a photo and looked at the butterfly for a while, as it sat flexing its wings.  I was thinking ‘Monarch’ , not really knowing the name of this colorful creature. 
 
Once at home, I dug out my Peterson’s Field Guide: ‘A Field Guide to the Insects’ and took a look at the Monarch in Plate 9.  Below it was a very similar-looking butterfly called a Viceroy.
 
“Hopeless”, I thought.  But then I had a look at the text, and understood for the first time about the regularity of wing venation in butterflies.  Monarchs and Viceroys are both orange, but the vein patterns on their wings are quite different!  The entomologists among you will be laughing or closing the page in unbelieving disgust.
 
Monarchs belong to the Family of Milkweed Butterflies, and Viceroys to the family of Brush-footed Butterflies.  The Viceroys are smaller than the Monarchs, and the tips of the forward wings show distinct differences, discernable even to an amateur like me.
 
Although I did not get the color right, drawing the Viceroy has made me pay additional attention to the complexity of the wing venation.
‘Viceroy butterfly on a rail’

 

butterfly

~

scrap of paper

plucked from my hand

wind a tease

always one wing beat

beyond the finger tip

attempts to read

delicate code

of dots

and dashes

~

a yellow Post-it note

folded on the tower

of a blue sky flaxflower

a tatter

a musical note

set to the panic

of butterfly flight

~

a curtsy and away

across the field

~

pursued by a butterfly net

~

and a killing jar

~

 

© Jane Tims  2007

Written by jane tims

October 1, 2011 at 9:11 am

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