The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

August 23, 2013

A butterfly's flight can be as equal to the flight of your life

The Commercial-News

---- — I watched a black swallowtail butterfly flying about a back yard as I was trimming shrubs one day this week.

The butterfly was in the last days of its life, its wings were tattered and much of the powder on the wings was gone but it flew about the backyard, hitting every flower to gain whatever nectar it could to stay alive.

The butterfly landed on a leaf right next to me and allowed me a peek at its wings and body.

The large bibulous compound eyes trying desperately to focus on me and its long curled-up tongue was obviously worn out from a life of drawing nectar. Still the butterfly flew about the yard apparently content with its fate.

Today, tomorrow it would become a feast for a bird or simply exhausted it would succumb to the elements and become part of the earth’s past history.

In a yard of beautiful shrubbery and flowers it was the butterfly that caught my attention. As a kid I would chase the butterflies across the neighborhood with a net my mother made for me out of a pillow case and a coat hanger attached to a broom stick.

What fond memories filtered back as I continued to watch the butterfly move from flower to flower.

As time moves on the sand in each of our hourglasses move slowly but ever so steadily through leaving less and less behind as it trickles through. The butterfly’s sand was running low and each day you and I have less and less left on the top side of our hourglass.

The butterfly seemed content and ready to accept the fate that lay ahead. The sand in my hour glass seems to be running through at a rapid pace the older I get. The days of my childhood are but a distant memory.

Like the butterfly, I keep moving on not really worrying about tomorrow for the Good Book tells me that tomorrow will take care of itself. I can’t see myself stopping anytime soon! I have fish to catch, birds to carve, books to write and many days to sit and enjoy the great outdoors.

Maybe you can only do so through a window to your backyard or from a small garden near your home but it is just great to have seen and done all the things most of us got to do.

This column is not only for the outdoorsman; the hunter, the angler, the hiker, etc. This column is for anyone that can draw from the outdoors as I can. It is for people that can see the beauty in something as simple as a butterfly or enjoy the wind rustling a pile of leaves.

Let me take you outdoors to help you enjoy its beauty even though you may not be able to be there. When you read this column I’ll be in Alaska enjoying the outdoors at its absolute best I hope to bring you a piece of it back with me.

Enjoy the rest of your summer and fall and see the beauty of nature even in a place as close as your own backyard!

Sam Van Camp writes about the outdoors on Fridays and Sundays. Call him at 662-6559. Fax: 446-6648. E-mail: