Where are the butterflies?

As a suburban kid and now a suburban adult, I sometimes feel out of touch with other life forms around me.  I was a little uneasy, therefore, asking my friend Michael about his butterfly bush when we visited his place in Bluemont yesterday.

“When do the butterflies come?” I asked.

“Now,” he said, “but we’ve had very few this year.  It might be some kind of cycle.  A lot of the numbers around here dip for a year or two and then come back,” and he went through some examples, none of which I recall.  I was just glad I had it right about the butterflies on butterfly bushes in July.   The butterflies usually complement Michael’s round bush’s bright flowers and greenery with a throbbing, variegated corona. I took these shots of two of the only five butterflies beating around the bush.

Maybe it’s not the butterflies alone but their interaction with the bush that becomes as cyclical as the sun’s discharges.  I’m no naturalist; I just know that relationships go in cycles as much as individuals do.  Sometimes it’s healthy to be apart.

Fred of Fragments from Floyd has a post today by the same name, and it also concerns an underpopulated butterfly bush.  I’m in Northern Virginia, and he’s in southwestern Virginia.  How are the butterfly bushes you know?