Tattered and torn = tenacity.

Of course we humans have had it tough this year, even if we have been blessed and our loved ones and ourselves have remained healthy and unscathed by COVID-19.

This beautiful Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly pictured above apparently has not fared so well. I’ve seen many butterflies in my day, flitting around my butterfly garden, to sipping nectar from wildflowers on my treks, but I’ve never seen one with such tattered wings.

First it crossed my path, then I watched it alight on this leaf. Despite the massive tears on its forewings and hindwings, the damage didn’t seem to impede it in the least. I watched this butterfly open and close its wings and I was able to get this shot where its tattered wings don’t seem as bad as in the photo up top.

I saw this butterfly during my very long trek at Crosswinds Marsh and Nature Preserve on August 8th, that I wrote about this past Monday. Click here for the post in case you missed it.

You’ll recall during that long post, I mentioned the many butterflies I saw along the way. At one point in the trek, there was a flurry of Red Admirals that zipped past me, then landed in a meadow area where they began sipping wildflower nectar.

Then, there were a few butterflies that decided to dance, fly or flit alongside me, or even land on the trail ahead of where I was walking. One such example was this Red-Spotted Purple butterfly.

At times it seemed this butterfly was playing a little game with me, i.e. “Catch me if you can!” I was careful not to tread on this delicate creature each time it placed itself square in my path. Luckily I was still fairly fresh in my trek and it was not at the tail end of my eight-mile journey, especially after I got lost in the hot sun in the middle of nowhere!

In the distance, meadows were filled with colorful wildflowers in vibrant shades, mostly yellow or purple, and, as I walked on the various trails, wildflowers grew everywhere. Some of the blooms would bend ever so slightly when a butterfly or bee settled down onto it, or the wind gently stirred the stem or leaves.

I took many pictures of these wildflowers, but these were my favorites and this last photo of the wild Black-Eyed Susan with the droopy petals looks like I felt at the end of that eight-mile walk.

Here’s a little factoid for you about Black-Eyed Susans: they are considered a symbol of encouragement and motivation, which can be attributed to the plant’s adaptability and widespread availability. Well I was motivated to get back to where I began that trek and I made it!

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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54 Responses to Tattered and torn = tenacity.

  1. I think Butterflies always look sad at the end of the season.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I agree with you Andy … they probably think of their long journey ahead and not as warm temps and it is disheartening to them. I sure would like to know if this butterfly makes it as tattered as its wings were.

      Like

  2. Sandra J says:

    I did not know what the yellow flower was called, the black eyed susan. Thank you, I have seen them everywhere but did not know what they were. The poor butterfly, but like you said, it isn’t stopping him from going about his business looking for food. He is preserving in his toughest time. I like that. Wonderful photos, so much color and life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad to help you out Sandra. I used to have them in my backyard garden, but they grow out in the wild and look the same. They are very hardy, but not hardy enough to sustain the Polar Vortex, so I lost all mine unfortunately. I had them for several decades, then “poof” – they were gone. That butterfly’s wings were amazing. The sideways shot really showed off all the tears and tatters. I wondered if it was around teasels as they were the same type of tears throughout, not just one ripped wing. Poor thing. Glad you enjoyed the photos. Last year I told myself I was going to learn some of these wildflower names in 2020 … that will be my goal for next year now.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is the butterfly we see most often in our garden. The one you saw must have had a rough life.

    I loved the photo of the black eyed Susan. She appears to be sheltering under a delicate Queen Anne’s Lace parasol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      They are really beautiful butterflies with their markings and that brilliant spot of blue. It was sad to see that butterfly’s wings with all the tears and tatters. I wondered if it went over teasels as I saw lots of them in the area. Glad you liked that picture Anne – it does look like that doesn’t it and many of the petals were drooping as well. We had a very hot Summer, but every so often there were torrential rains which helped out, but regular “waterings” would have been better I think.

      Like

  4. Word Catcher says:

    such a great experience to see all these lovely things. awesome photos 🙂❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Word Catcher – there were meadows and they were filled with wildflowers so lots of butterflies. I love seeing them. We have a cold snap here in SE Michigan, so I think the butterflies and hummingbirds have left for warmer climates. Wish I was going with them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Word Catcher says:

        yes, they are really beautiful. thank you for sharing. sorry to know they have left. but i think there will be other lovely things that will take their place 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        You are welcome – the birds are still here … the Blue Jays and Cardinals were out today and I took pictures of them sharing peanuts with the squirrels on the path at the Park. I hope the pictures turn out. I was working on stuff in the house all day so will save the pictures as a treat to look at one day this week. They grab the peanuts while the squirrels are eating them. Our Park was in lockdown from May 1st to June 2nd. Before that, I often had Blue Jays following from tree to tree as I walked along and doled out peanuts to the squirrels. The one Cardinal sometimes followed behind me as I walked … today was the first Cardinal I’ve seen since the Park reopened again. I thought they might have started nesting in the neighborhoods instead- I don’t know where they were. I hope they are here for good.

        Like

  5. Ally Bean says:

    Your butterfly friend looks a bit, shall we say, worse for the wear. We get some swallowtail butterflies around here, but not too many. I adore the blue in the wings. It makes a nice contrast to the wild flowers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Ally – I felt sorry for this poor butterfly, yet it was flitting around like nothing was amiss. I like the Swallowtail butterflies too and this one’s blue patches seemed iridescent in the sun. I noticed an abundance of yellow wildflowers at this venue. Last year I said I wanted to learn the wildflower’s names to I.D. them in my posts – maybe next year.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ruthsoaper says:

    Tenacity was your word for that day, Linda. 🙂 Beautiful flower photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Ruth – it was a long haul but hopefully a first and last time for doing that dumb move! I think that’s it for wildflowers for the season, though I want to share the photos of the water lotuses I took over several visits to Lake Erie Metropark. That will be in an upcoming post.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Rebecca says:

    I think we could all use some Black-Eyed Susans in our life right now. The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail looks like its been through the ringer. Amazing how much they can go through and still persevere. Beautiful flower photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      That’s for sure Rebecca – we need some positive vibes to get us to 2021. I’ve never seen such a torn and tattered butterfly before, yet it had no trouble flying or alighting. I wondered if it raked its leaves over some teasels. I know they grab onto my gloves or a sweatshirt if I’m walking too close to them. I say that because the wing tears all seemed identical to me. Glad you liked the flowers too. I want to learn the names of the wildflowers to include them in the posts. That was one of my goals for 2020 but maybe I’ll make that a goal for 2021 now that wildflower season is about over.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The swallowtail looks like I feel!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda……………………………….thank you for the factoid on Black-Eyed Susans: their encouragement and motivation!…………………………….we had quite a few of them in our perennial patio garden this summer and my neighbor Charlotte above us at the apartments just loved them

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I hate seeing nature hurt! I’m glad he still flies ok. I love fall and all of it’s beauty, you always capture it well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I do too Diane. This poor butterfly – I had no idea how he could fly as his wings were so tattered. Maybe since it is a big butterfly and it was tears on the edges it was okay, but wow. I wonder if it will make it all the way to Mexico with the damaged wings? Glad you liked these photos Diane. I have taken a lot of photos this Summer and Fall – I took another 50-60 this morning at the Park and down at the River. Fall is my favorite season – today we had an absolutely glorious day, but tomorrow rain the entire day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Here too Linda. Saturday I decorated the cabana with Halloween decorations, so fun! We also took the grandkids to a fall festival at an apple orchard. We walked a corn maze, saw pumpkins shoot out of a cannon, they had a petting zoo and lots of other activities for the kids. It was so much fun! Never left the house today. Cooked all day. I’m teaching my granddaughter in steps how to make beer bread for grandpa. First time I did it and she watched. 2nd time she’s helped me. Last week she did it all but I supervised. This week I only read her the ingredients and what to do next. Next week she has to do it all without any help from me. She was so excited today’s bread turned out perfect and of course grandpa made a big deal about how delicious it was.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I love Fall for all the activities and food and drink fun. Years ago at the ad agency, one of the art directors lived right next to the Franklin Cider Mill and every Monday he’d bring in cider and donuts for everyone. The donuts were still warm and the bags they were in were a little greasy – they were wonderful. I like the Fall as you finally get a break from the heat and humidity. I think that is so awesome your granddaughter is learning to bake bread. I would not have a clue and I wish my mom had done this with me back when I was a kid. She always said she would do it and I could read so I could read a recipe and cook. That is not true as you know. I like that your husband made a big deal about the beer bread which made your granddaughter’s day I’m sure.

        Like

  11. Sartenada says:

    Hi Linda.

    Stunning pics! I envy you, because you have captured so many beautiful flowers and butterflies. They do not exist here and this why it was interesting to admire your photos. Thank you.

    Weekend is here – enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked these photos Matti – thank you for saying that. The Summer blooms and butterflies and the heat that makes both thrive is something to look forward to in the long and seemingly endless Winter days and nights. I really admired this butterfly as he had lost so much of his wings. I was on the go for 12 hours today but the best part was walking at the Park and along the Detroit River, both with the camera. I hated to go home and deal with chores. The weekend passes by way too fast Matti.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. The tattered and torn swallowtail butterfly is a champion, it certainly survived something harrowing! Its tenacity is admirable. So many different kinds of wildflowers to enjoy. In the last picture it looks like the white flower is trying to shield the black-eyed susan, gorgeous shot! Coming home with so many nice pictures was a good reward for all your trouble on that eight-mile walk.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Barbara – I don’t know how it could fly with those wings and I wondered if went over some teasels and scraped its wings that way as the tattered looked to be in the same places all the way along. I decided last year I’d find out the names of the wildflowers, as there are a few online sites to ID them. I never did that in 2020, but next year for sure. I only know the common names of a handful of them. Yes, it did look that way – like that very droopy-looking Black-Eyed Susan was shielded with an umbrella of sorts. Yes, that is the best way to look at it – lots of photos representing that long and difficult trek.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Joni says:

    Linda, I wonder if it could still fly as the wings were tattered on each side so it could still fly about. I picked up an injured monarch from a parking lot last year, and it’s wing was torn on one side. Brought it home and put it on a lavender bush where it died a few hours later. Still dealing with furnace woes….I thought I was done after 3 sub-contractors and Reliance and this morning when it turned it on to get the chill out of the house, the boiler is making a strange howling noise and I hear water hissing?? The question is who to call – the last sub-contractor with the chimney piping or Reliance so they can send another different useless person out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I am sorry to hear that Monarch died on you – this one seemed to be okay – it flitted over there and stayed on the leaf opening and closing its wings. The wings looked worse when closed than open but maybe the sun illuminated the wings a little too. Now is definitely not the time to have a problem with the furnace – yikes!
      At least there is only tonight and tomorrow for really cold nights and there will be a warming trend after that. Thank goodness for that while they try to figure out your furnace woes.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Laurie says:

    Beautiful butterfly and wildflower photos, Linda! That poor butterfly loos like he had a narrow escape from a bird or two. I always loved black-eyed Susans because my older sister, who I always admired, is named Susan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Laurie and likely the last butterflies on the path for the season – I never thought about a bird trying to snack on a butterfly … I was thinking a snag on teasels. But what an awful thought – the circle of life rears its ugly head again These poor critters are not safe from anyone or anything!

      Like

  15. Butterflies sure can get beat up during their lives. Ive never seen one with that much blue on their wings around here. The wildflowers are gorgeous. I’m a huge fan of Black-eyed Susans and have several patches in my garden. They are hardy and seem to bloom for a long time. They also easily reseed and multiply. I’m glad you found your way back after getting lost.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, this one really was tattered and that blue seemed so brilliant on its wings. I thought maybe it raked its leaves over teasels (there were lots of them) but a fellow blogger who is a birder said maybe it tangled with a bird. There were so many yellow wildflowers and I am going to learn those wildflower names next year Sabine. This year was not one for concentration or learning new things. I decided to just get through it and be happy I can get to parks. I was going to get a book on wildflowers but there are many sites available to study/compare what I see. I was devastated to lose my Black-eyed Susans as I had them for many years and they reseeded themselves and I had them on both sides of the yard. The Polar Vortex killed them along with most every other perennial in the yard, including three Butterfly Bushes which grow like a weed. I will never take a trail by myself again – I was really getting worried I’d not find my way back.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Prior... says:

    thanks for the little factoid – I like the black-eyed susan even more now -and wonderful photos!!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: Red Geranium Buds & Quotes by O’Keeffe, Matisse, & Rothko (Kindasquare Day 5) – priorhouse blog

  18. I can’t imagine that butterfly taking that long journey ahead of it on those tattered wings. I wonder what happened to cause those tears? It looks like the Black-Eyed Susan in your last picture is carrying a little white parasol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I was surprised it was able to flit around and land on that leaf Janis. Another blogger said it might have tangled with a bird. I had thought maybe it went over a teasel and ripped its wings. I almost used that Black-Eyed Susan and its parasol as the header image. I thought it was unusual looking in the photo too.

      Like

  19. Pam Lazos says:

    I didn’t see as many butterflies this year which was a little disconcerting, Linda. Good to know they haven’t left us for good!

    Liked by 1 person

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