This is my Reward every Spring. The photo was taken at our arboretum near Asheville last May. It won’t be long now!
Submitted for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray
Ahhh summer, how I love you. I pine for you on cold, dreary December days. I rejoice upon your return and bask in your embrace, unashamed. But your flirtation is brief and intense, like a butterfly landing momentarily on a bloom. Soon you will depart once again, and I will cling to your memory, as it is all that you have left me.
I’ve been a very bad blogger lately. It seems like the warm summer days are flying by in a blur of activity, one melting into the next. I’m surprised each night to find that I’ve barely had time to sit down before bedtime rolls around. And I’ve been working more, somehow, instead of less. Things on that front are very stressful and insanely busy due to staff shortages.
On a happier note, I have managed to squeeze in some scenic and interesting family day trips. The photos you see were taken at Linville Caverns, which is inside a mountain about 2 hours northeast of Asheville, NC. These are a few of the formations that have been created by water pressure over eons. The colors are the product of various minerals and semi-precious gems.
The caverns actually have 3 levels, but the public is only allowed to tour a small portion that has been stabilized. There is a “bottomless pool” that runs beneath the structure. Apparently, scientists have tried to measure it’s depth on several occasions using various tools, but they have yet to find the bottom. A nifty part of the tour involves having visitors wiggle their fingers in front of their eyes and then turning off all the lights. This is said to be one of only two places where one can experience the complete absence of light, the other being the bottom of the ocean.
I think they were mistaken, however. The third place would be a hospital lab:)
This little fellow has been visiting my flower boxes on the porch for the past few days and was kind enough to pose for a close-up. It’s the strangest thing, but I seem to be having almost surreal encounters with butterflies these days.
Take last week, for instance. I went out for a jog on the path behind my house, which backs up to a nature preserve. As I was running along a straight section, under a canopy of trees, a butterfly appeared beside me. I didn’t think much of it, but he continued along the path, staying right next to me. Occasionally, he would fly ahead and I would think that was the end of it. But then he would make a big circle and come back to me, keeping me company.
This went on for at least a quarter of a mile, until he finally tired of the game and moved along. For a brief moment, he was a companion, almost like a faithful dog. I’ve never seen a butterfly behave that way before. I felt protected in a sense, like I had a guardian angel.
I’m not usually one to go in for mystical, crystal-healing karma trips, but I’ve had the thought several times that my son has been reincarnated as a butterfly. I can’t explain why or back this up with anything logical, of course, but I just get a feeling when these things happen that he’s trying to let me know he is still with me and that he’s checking in.
Well, we’ve come to the end of the challenge. Where did I end up on my vacation? No, it wasn’t the most glamorous or distant locale imaginable, but it is one of my most favorite places, and home to the #1 beach in the USA, Siesta Key. I just can’t seem to get enough; this is my second trip to the same spot since the beginning of the year. Have a look.
All of this week’s photos were taken on a single day in downtown Sarasota, Florida.
This photo was taken at the top of Looking Glass Mountain near Asheville. Annoyed with being the one to always plan family outings, I left it up to my husband to figure out the day’s activity. At the time, we were both overweight and out of shape. So what did he come up with? A six mile hike, straight up a mountainside. Sweating profusely and out of breath, we finally reached the summit to find this outstanding panoramic view.
Terrified of heights and “edges”, I stood in the background and captured the moment. My daughter, who was 8 at the time, ventured fearlessly onward and sat atop this precarious perch (it’s not as bad as it looks).
I was pregnant with my youngest daughter on this day, but wouldn’t find out until the next week. She must have been wondering what kind of crazy family she had gotten herself into!