September 21, 2015
If you live in a place that changes with the seasons, you know the tug of realizing--at some point each autumn--you've probably seen the last [fill-in-the-blank] of the year until next spring. Migratory species leave; perennials dry up and go dormant; the picture-perfect, carefree, comfortable days are numbered.
But if you're like me, you occasionally experience a surprise, or two, or three ... or more.
Like the time last October, when I decided to drive around town to capture a few photos and memories of the autumn colors before they faded. I figured I'd seen the last Monarch butterfly of the season, since I hadn't seen one for at least a week.
And then I saw one, as I drove up to a city park along Madison's Lake Mendota.
I clambered out of my car and carefully inched over to the beautiful stands of Asters (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), to snap a joyful photo of the little beauty.
And then I noticed another one.
And a couple more.
And then a few more.
I looked across the parking lot and saw more.
Gosh, they were loving those Asters.
They weren't moving very fast, because it was rather chilly and the skies were cloudy, so it was easy to photograph them.
Apparently this grouping of Asters and other fall-blooming plants was placed at just the right spot for Monarchs flying off the lake--a way-station of nectar for butterflies on their journey south.
A few bumblebee friends joined them.
I was captivated by this unexpected, late-season gift of grace. I took it all in, snapped a few photos, and observed.
Until it was time for me to leave,
And time to wish them safe travels,
Until their great-grandchildren returned the next year.
I'm linking this post to Donna's "Seasonal Celebrations" at Gardens Eye View, and Michelle's Nature Notes over at Rambling Woods. Please visit their beautiful blogs for more seasonal inspiration.
Happy autumn (and spring to those in the Southern Hemisphere)! And may you have many more butterflies and [fill-in-the-blanks] in your future!