Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What If You Held a Butterfly Festival, and No Butterflies Came?

In the photo above, a Wood Nymph butterfly focuses intently on a delicious meal of autumn aster. Picture taken in October of 2005 at the Holden Arboretum in Northeast Ohio.

Well anyways, the burning question was answered this past Saturday, September 12th. The Monarch Butterfly tagging portion of the Butterfly Festival on Kelleys Island had to be cancelled due to lack of attendance on the part of the butterflies! Apparently they didn't receive their invitation. It was also being said that as a matter of fact, the butterflies weren't migrating normally in general. There were also no Monarchs in either Mexico or California. Maybe it's this crazy weather we've been having.

Having looked in on friends elsewhere in the blog world and the Flickr photography website, it seems the butterflies are hanging out in places like Indiana (hi Mary at Faith, Fabric, and Photos!) and Georgia (hi ruthalice43 on Flickr!)

Link to Mary's blog post:

Link to ruthalice43's photo:

Anyways, it was a beautiful day to sit out on the porch of the new Kelleys Island Historical Association building and sell landscape photos while right next to me sat an author who lives on Kelleys Island and just published a book on the island's colorful residents from earlier times in history.

A friendly slobbering Golden Retriever named Zeus who was very old and allegedly had a "delicate stomach" spent the day following around with big, sad, begging, hungry, puppy-dog eyes anyone who bought a hot dog. It's almost too bad we couldn't have tagged Zeus and sent him airmail on down to Mexico or California, but that pesky ole dog was just too doggone nice and provided a bit of entertainment.


Cal said...

Thank you for your comment. I love your pics. Particularly the cave - both warm and inviting and eerie at the same time. And your comments regarding the butterflies and invitations brought to mind a book from years ago. Do you know it? It's the Butterfly Ball with marvellous illustrations

Hope you have a good day.

Mary said...

I'm sorry you didn't get to see any Monarchs. I suppose one problem with setting up things like this is they set the date far in advance. Then if the butterflies decide to leave early or take a slightly different route they are out of luck. I would like to know how they did with the local tagging. We saw plenty of Monarchs the day before it was to be held, but without a net to catch them, it wasn't even possible to get good photos. One year I attended the Solo II National autocross in Topeka, Ks at this time of year and there were hundreds of Monarchs flying all over the place and probably getting hit by cars. Maybe Kelley's Island needs to pick an earlier date. Would be interested in that book about Kelley's Island. I used to visit there in the summer occasionally. Hope you sold lots of photos!

Mami said...

thank you for your wonderful haiku.
you learn haiku,dont you?
Paying attention to fucus to butterfly seems so difficult. Need to keep patience!!Arigatou

Jan's Place USA and Mt Forest Pictures said...

I got a new camera this summer.. and not a butterfly in sight!!!

Mami said...

I7m glad to hear your kindly comment about my last post(about Blogging...) So I can figure out and get encouragement bit.thank you!! Lemon person? I remember.
Have a nice weekend!

Janie said...

Poor Zeus. I hope someone gave him a hot dog.
Kind of scary when nature is varying a lot from its normal patterns. I hope the butterflies aren't getting lost in their migration like the honey bees seem to be getting lost in finding their hives again.
Hope you had some luck selling your art.

EcoRover said...

Hope Zeus didn't eat all the butterflies.

Seriously, sounds like some worry as to monarchs declining? The huge migration & broad range of habitat makes them susceptible to all sorts of problems--agricultural pesticides & herbicides, suburban sprawl/habitat loss, global warming etc. Much like what Janie pointed out about honeybees.

CountryDreaming said...

Cal: Thanks for inviting me to the Butterfly Ball in book form! Haven't had the pleasure before. Will have to take a closer look, I bet that book's chock full of lots of fun and some great inspiration!

Mary: The second weekend in September has always seemed to work so far ... Now with this year's weather patterns, it will be anyone's guess as to what's the new normal. It's so cool that you're an island visitor too! As for the book, you can sample it at

Mami: It's always nice to hear from you! And I've loved haiku for many years. We were taught them in junior high school and I ended up doing a presentation on haiku masters in a Japanese 102 class.

Jan: Will definitely have to check out your photos! It's always great meeting like minds and kindred spirits in the blog world. :-)

Janie: Well, someone shared their yummy hot dog with Zeus, but the lady watching the dog didn't want to encourage it in case too many people started feeling sorry for those irresistibly cute eyes! And here's hoping that there are better times ahead for the bees and butterflies, whatever may be amiss.

EcoRover: People really weren't sure whether the butterflies just got lost and confused or if they're declining in number. I am seeing some as I look through Flickr photos, so that's hopeful anyways.

grammyof13 said...

Love the title and the story following! This would be a great beginning to a writing lesson. I teach creative writing to 7 & 8th grade home schooled children.