I like to think this butterfly is an Aphrodite Fritillary. It looks similar in pictures and certainly the goddess of love, pleasure and beauty fits my story to a T.
Personal encounters with butterflies loom large among our family members. Often the episode leaves the individual with a profound sense of connection with nature and family members who have died. On a walk with my granddaughter recently we discussed such an episode where a butterfly landed on her and spent a few minutes leaving and returning. This happened shortly after her grandmother Cathy had died and left Olive with a sense of wonder and connection to Cathy that was solidified by a living creature attending to her.
The very next day as I was on a bike ride and photographing insects out by the South Saskatchewan River I experienced a similar connection. I had just put my camera in my pannier and was preparing to leave. This butterfly landed on my finger and proceeded to sample my skin with its proboscis. I was able to use my free had to retrieve my camera and capture the incident.
My scientific self watched the proboscis dab the surface of my sweaty finger and thought a salt requirement might be the reason for the prolonged attachment of over 90 seconds. My spiritual self soon pushed that reasoning to the background and began to revel in the connection. As I talked to the butterfly and connected with Cathy’s spirit the insect flew away and returned a couple of times. It is difficult to express the full extent of my sense of joy and wonder over how the simple act of a butterfly landing and spending time touching my skin connected me with Cathy and other family members who have experienced a similar wonder.
Here is the butterfly after it left my hand and went back to being a butterfly.
You can check out a video of the event by clicking the button below.