08 Jul Falling in love with butterflies
Ex-lumberjack confesses he’s hooked
Yes, I used to be a lumberjack. Maybe the best job I ever had. Then came college, a white-collar career and less time to re-engage in the Great Outdoors.
Things have changed. I’m now an active boomer, retired and curious. People still taunt me to prove that I’m a former lumberjack because, quite frankly, I’m built like a flamingo.
And I love butterflies. There – I admit it. Not something I could have imagined 40 years ago when only the “big stuff” thrilled me: waterfalls, canyon arches, mountaintop sunsets and majestic beasts such as moose and humpback whales. I’ve learned, though, to appreciate nature’s beauty in the little things, like insects.
Butterflies are indeed insects. They have three pairs of legs and three main body regions, which helps qualify them for the world of entomology. Bug experts, I’m sure, have stricter criteria.
Okay, that’s enough science since I’m not an entomologist or an “ologist” of any kind. Following are some of my favorite butterfly sightings over the last few years. Many are from the Carolinas but I spotted some while hiking in national parks and wildlife refuges across the country. I’ve done my best to identify them, but some species are tricky to differentiate. Don’t hesitate to offer an alternative – even if you’re not a lepidopterist.
I hope you enjoy the pageant winners of the insect world. And if you’re an ex-lumberjack viewing this article, I’m proud of you.