In contrast to the previous post, Hello Cruel World, this one features the carefree awakenings of butterflies. The above emerging butterfly is one of many showcased at the Mindo (Ecuador) Butterfly Gardens, where one steps into a magical world of colorful butterflies and equally-colorful flowers.
Witnessing the chrysalis of butterflies awakens a childlike wonder, and I recall a private showing several years ago on the deck of my home! Even though the drab-colored caterpillars stripped the foliage of the passion fruit vines, they later rewarded me with with an unforgettable beginning to my morning!
The orange hues dripped from their wings!
That’s a beautiful way to start a day!
The river presents many beginnings to witness throughout the year, and the recent first rains of the season triggered a subtle change in my feathered neighbors’ patterns.
Back for its annual migratory vacation, the osprey announced its return on the first day of this new year! Its lone melancholy call touched my heart, and I smiled and silently answered, ‘Welcome back.’ Joining the serenade for three mornings in a row, a tropical mockingbird all but tricks me into believing that I’m awakening in the springtime of my youth in the Mississippi Delta. (Only a Southerner at heart could be so chatty at the first light of a new day!)
Today I noted the magnificent frigates claiming new perches straight across from the house. Their white heads looked like puppets balanced upon the dense green mangrove foliage, while their friends the pelicans peered from slightly-higher elevations! As if they were spectators awaiting a show, I wondered just what inside information they might have that I lacked!
The rainy season has arrived, and the arid landscape is about to change into a polar opposite as different as the cocoon is to the butterfly, yet equally important to the cycles and rhythms of life. Soon this lazy last bend will transform into a turbulent voracious tree-eating river. The birds, butterflies and I will claim our seats and prepare for the show to begin.
To all of you in North America, I’ll be watching via internet as you brace for the approaching winter storm. Stock up, stay warm and be careful! Z