Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not a fan of insects. I understand and respect the important role they play in our ecosystem, but most insects terrify me. If a spider crosses my path I run the other way. Mosquitoes torture me in the summer as they buzz in my ears and centipedes just scare the wits out of me. But then there is the butterfly. It’s an insect, but it’s beautiful. I would even count one in particular as part of my family.
I know very little about entomology, but I want to share with you something special I learned about the butterfly family that resides in my backyard. We moved into our current home in early June of 2014 and soon after were visited by one very friendly butterfly. We spend a lot of time in our backyard and noticed that it kept joining us as we sat on our deck or enjoyed dinner in the backyard. Day after day, throughout the month of June, this seemingly fearless insect sat with us. Actually, it didn’t just sit with us, it sat ON us! It didn’t just sit on us, it protected us. If a wasp dared fly by our dinner table, our butterfly swiftly chased the wasp away.
This butterfly had the characteristic orange, black and white lines of a monarch, so we assumed it must be a monarch. My daughter named it Monny. Day after day Monny joined our family, and once in a while we would see a group of butterflies flying around our yard wildly. Then one day they were gone.
Fast forward to June of 2015 and our butterfly was back. Or rather, a descendent of Monny was back. It looked the same, again it was fearless and just as friendly. In 2016, we hoped our butterfly would return and sure enough it was back, sitting with us and relaxing with us in our backyard.
This weekend, for the fourth year in a row, our butterfly returned. Last night it swooped in as we sat down for dinner and joined us at the table during our meal. It sits on the table, our shoulders and even our heads. It’s part of our family.
Our 2017 butterfly looks exactly the same as the first one who joined us back in 2014. I don’t know what kind of butterfly it is, but clearly this kind has some homing device that sends the descendants back to our backyard year after year. Our butterfly is beautiful, friendly and wonderful.
If there are any experts or enthusiasts out there who can help me learn more about my beautiful butterfly please leave me a comment here, contact me on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/alicia.r.kalman, or Tweet me @AliciaRichler. I would love to learn more about Monny and share my knowledge with my children.