“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly,
“one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.”
~Hans Christian Anderson
Bumping into a Good Friend
Several summers ago, as I stepped out onto my balcony garden, I literally bumped into my good friend, the Clouded Sulphur Butterfly. It was a beautiful, hot summer’s day and the vertical blinds of our sliding glass doors leading out to the balcony garden were closed to keep out the heat of the late summer sun. I was working in the kitchen when I heard some commotion on the street below. Curious as to the cause of the sound, I decided to step out onto the balcony to have a look-see. But, rather than open the vertical blinds so I could step out unimpeded, I lazily threaded one arm between two of the vertical panels, parted them, and gingerly placed one foot out onto the balcony. Half out, with one foot and one arm through to the other side and my other arm and leg still inside, laced between the vertical panels of the blinds, I bumped smack into a little Clouded Sulphur Butterfly.
Neither of us expected the other to be there. I jumped in surprise at something unseen fluttering about my face, instinctively (and rather comically I’m sure) flailing my arms like a mad woman, while the butterfly, also surprised and momentarily confused (can you blame the poor thing?), fluttered wildly between the narrow opening of the vertical blinds and straight into my dining room, where it finally settled on the bottom of the blinds.
Once she and I regained our composure, I offered her a spot of chamomile tea with several drops of wildflower honey, which she gladly accepted. We had a short chat before she was off again, in somewhat of a hurry it seemed, to purchase a brand new pink hat (because, in her opinion, hats on butterflies are never a mistake).
Clouded Sulphurs are pretty yellow butterflies. At rest, with their wings closed, they are a beautiful, pale yellow colour, with a delicate pink outline around each wing. In flight, with their wings open, they are a vibrant bright yellow, with stunning black edges around their wings. Most of the yellow sulphur butterflies look very similar—the tell-tale marking of a Clouded Sulphur is a row of three black dots on the underside of each wing.
I’m always thrilled when a butterfly visits my high-rise balcony garden—it’s so high above the ground, it’s always a wonder to me how they ever find my little garden. But, however they find my flowers, I’m so happy that they do!