The Beautiful Butterfly

posted by: Wesley Ismay


Insects are a peculiar bunch. Most call them bugs. Almost a same connotation as a plant given the name a weed. Bugs, critters, creepy-crawlies.

I do not give them these pejoratives though.

I have had too many odd experiences with them.

Not just in the manner in which they move or the way in which a creature so tiny can accomplish something so grand.

I have had personal experience with them of a profound kind. I have had at least three encounters that I can remember of with a dragonfly sitting on a clothes lines. Those dragonflies were of such an inquisitive character that those dragonflies let me physically touch their wings. Imagine yourself in existence whereby a being 100000* your weight comes up to you.

Truly think of this encounter.

If fear was not in the immediate response I hope I never have to encounter you. You’re a sociopath.

But, fear was not on its purview. Perhaps that dragonfly has something we do not. Understanding of intentions.

I am a curious being not particularly afraid of death (either inflicting, being surrounded by or incurring), and on one occasion I thought well what if I just bundled up this little thing. The Darwin Dragonfly awards goes to this Dodo Dragonfly crossed my mind. And as soon as I thought that the dragonfly fluttered away never to be seen from again.

Us humans think we are the smartest creatures on this planet. Perhaps all we are is the only one endowed with enough hubris to believe that. But that is another story for another time.

This story is about a butterfly. This butterfly to be exact.

Zoomed in Concrete

I was driving along a highway to Fossil Butte National Park and I was getting very tired of driving. I needed a rest. I had been driving for four hours straight. So I pulled over, did a little stretching, ate whatever I had left over from the breakfast and was applying some body lotion to rejuvenate when I felt a bug land on the back of my neck.

I immediately assumed it was one of those wasps I saw nearby. Swat, dead, ah relief I thought for a split second. Until I looked down and there this butterfly was.

“Ah no, not this colorful butterfly. I didn’t mean to kill you bud.” the thought roamed in my head. But Cie La Vie I thought. At least this one will be a memorable souvenir cheaper than the others I have accumulated.

I picked it up off the ground, and was about to set it in my empty cardboard coffee cup filled with change when I saw its eyes move. Wait, is this thing still alive?

OK, so this butterfly is still alive. Must have just hobbled the thing. I guess I’ll give it some water. So I put this alive souvenir with another live souvenir in the back of my car. And as soon as I set it there I saw it cling back to life.

Gripping my bamboo plant

I poured some water into the container, cranked up Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, rolled down the windows and away I go again.

I get to Fossil Butte Park, stop, take plenty of pictures and when I return to my car I see this on the dashboard.

On the Dashboard

I was not sure what to make of this. Should I set him free or should this butterfly be my travel companion?

Well, my personal preference is to travel alone.

So I picked the butterfly up by its wing and there I set him on the concrete parking lot. You saw it already. It was the first pic.

But, I liked that butterfly. I will remember him or her for a while.

posted in: Self Odd Encounters

  1. Sheila

    So cool. I love butterfly’s. They are so beautiful and amazing. Your Dad has tatted several for me and even a butterfly pair of earrings, very special. Just like him. Even in my favorite color. Travel safe sweetie.


    • Wesley Ismay

      Thanks for the comment. Butterflies are beautiful.


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