Sunday, June 03, 2007

Year of the Butterfly

Just one day after seeing butterflies near Stanton's house, we received a visit on the flower bush in front of our own house.

When I was a kid, my father told me nature chooses one insect every year to dominate over all the others. I believe this may be the Year of the Butterfly.

The first time I remember observing this phenomenon for myself, I was about 9 years old. My father lived in a trailer house on the Spokane Reservation, near Catherine Andrew's place. My brother and I stayed with him in that house the summer after Mount Saint Helens erupted.

It happened like this. My father ran an errand and left the two of us alone in that house. It was a bright sunny day, and I remember I looked across the field and saw some kind of cloud moving toward us. "What is that?" I asked my brother, but he didn't know any more than I did. As it approached, we realized it wasn't a cloud at all, but a swarm of insects.

Now my brother and I had recently watched some B-rate movie about killer bees, so we believed we were about to fall victim to a deadly, stinging swarm. We ran home as fast as we could, but paused long enough to warn the neighbors. They just laughed, so we continued home and locked ourselves inside the trailer.

When the swarm arrived, we saw they were not bees at all, but ladybugs! Millions of ladybugs descended on our house. They were flying into the glass, thumping on the side of house, and crawling under the door. I wasn't sure if I should be afraid or filled with awe. Maybe I felt a little of both.

The rest of that summer we saw ladybugs everywhere, but never like that first day.

A year or two later, we returned to spend the summer with our dad, and this time there were no ladybugs. Instead, we found hundreds of praying mantids. I didn't even know such a thing existed in our part of the world, but they were everywhere. In fact, one time all us kids were riding in the back of my dad's pickup truck when one of the other kids screamed and pointed in my direction. A huge brown praying mantis had landed on the back of my shirt on my left shoulder. I screamed too and shook it from my body. Of course, I also wondered why they were all brown. We had always seen them as big green bugs in books and on the television.

One year all the treetops were filled with beautiful white moths, and another year there were swarms of flying termite looking things. Other years they were less pleasant, like the time we had thousands of yellow jackets. Two years ago there were thousands of blue dragonflies, and finally this year I've seen more yellow butterflies than I've ever seen before.

I'm not sure what it means. Are there any scientists out there who can explain this phenomenon? Has anyone else noticed this kind of occurrence? And what do you think it means on a spiritual level?


Chelle said...

I know that animals and insects go through cycles. The whole natural selction process and all. So every so often you will get large amounts of insects untill they overpopulate themselves and die off. I heard on the news the other day that bees were down 51% or something like that. So maybe the bees are on a downswing after being so abudant the other year and butterflies are at the top of the arch. Remeber a couple years ago when we saw all those bugs in the tree down by the river. That was kinda creepy.

Chelle said...

Your to busy....


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