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Remember to Take Time to Stop & Smell the…


Technically, Limenitis arthemis astyanax, but since we’re on a first name basis, Henrietta.

You thought I was gonna say roses didn’t chya?

Well, in case you’ve never smelled a butterfly it’s a hint of sweet vanilla, and a bit of fresh watermelon with a musky sweet marjoram undertone.

I know because yesterday I spent over an hour with one named Henrietta.

You aren’t actually buying this are ya’?

Don’t. My nose can’t be trusted. It’s perma-stuffy and has no idea what it’s talking about.

But I did really spend part of yesterday’s sweltering afternoon with a butterfly.

“How?!”, you exclaim in wonderment. “Why?”, you ask.

It went something like this:

The Setting: Our greenhouse/sunroom combo thing.

Me (in greenhouse): La la la la…*hears fluttering* Aaack!!! Waaasp!?! *gasps* Not wasp. *exhales* What are ya doing in here butterfly?

Butterfly (stuck behind curtain): Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! *doing butterfly wing version of Scoobie legs*

Me (failing at Australian accent): You’re awlriight buddy. You’re awlriight.

It then crawled onto my finger and I carried it outside to a flower. It flew off.

I saved a butterfly. Job well done me! Now I could get back to being not in the sweltering god awful heat.

Not so much…She promptly circled back and crash landed on the porch.

Didn’t take time to take a picture pre-sugar water…emergency situation and all…

Thanks to my Insect EMT training (Emergency Medical Technician in case ya didn’t know), I knew this poor little thing was dehydrated. (I saw it on Instagram…that makes me an EMT). So I ran into the house and whipped up some sugar water for it. Because that’s what highly trained medical professionals do. Keep reading and you can be one too!

We spent the next hour or so hanging out in our own slow, relaxed, porch-universe, Henrietta slowly sipping from a puddle of sugar water with her proboscis (straw tongue), and me, melting into a puddle of my own juices.

Henrietta drinking. Note long proboscis (long straw-tongue) in water.
Proboscis curling out to take a sip.

The world sped on around us, cars whizzing by, Bealer grinding some metal thingy & occasionally checking our progress, Mom walking, burping, and making up weird butterfly names like Henrietta, Dad eating ice cream (in the air conditioning)…

Alright, maybe Henrietta and I were just slow because it was a hundred and freakin’ ten degrees on the porch…and our liquefied brains were pouring out of our ears.

I discovered that butterflies don’t have ears, so I’ve drawn one for purposes of this post.

Either way, it was relaxing. And fascinating. And kind of enchanting in a how-often-do-you-slow-down-and-connect-with-nature sort of way.
Here’s a video!

So what can we take from this experience?

We now know that butterflies look better with ears, and slowing down with nature helps you lose several pounds of water weight.

And, as a bonus, you are now also an Official Insect EMT. Because you read this.

Now go save a butterfly.

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