Butterfly Aesthetics

Some moments are better than others.

Like the moment this butterfly landed just outside the arena as I watched my daughter ride her horse. I’m no photographer, but I didn’t have to be to capture the glory of this gorgeous creature.



Flowers–Well–if anybody
Can the ecstasy define–
Half a transport–half a trouble–
With which flowers humble men:
Anybody find the fountain
From which floods so contra flow–
I will give him all the Daisies
Which upon the hillside blow.

Too much pathos in their faces
For a simple breast like mine–
Butterflies from St. Domingo
Cruising round the purple line–
Have a system of aesthetics–
Far superior to mine.

~Emily Dickinson, #137



In 2010, I wrote a blog post for this website that I called “Teddy Bear Country,” in which I attempted to answer my daughter’s question: “Why are bears like babies?” She meant, why are bears so often portrayed in an infantile fashion, as in modern versions of “The Three Bears,” and the ubiquitous teddy bear?

As soon as she asked, I became obsessed with the notion.

Eleven thousand years ago, the North American short face bear became extinct, along with the rest of the continent’s megafauna. It was a deadly predator, perhaps one of the deadliest mammals ever, and some people believe its existence may have delayed the dominance of humans in North America by several hundred years.

Yet, 11,000 years later, the short face bear’s local kin–grizzlies, black bears, and polar bears–are as wild as ever, but they are often mistaken for someone who wants a cuddle. Read more at Luna Station Quarterly…

Happy New Year!

white christmasI’m grateful to have had a peaceful Christmas with my family. It was magical to wake up Christmas morning to a world blanketed in glistening snow.

This was followed by one of the best New Year’s Eve celebrations I’ve had. winter nightWe got together with old friends, at a farm in the country, and began the festivities with a winter walk. snow funWe found a poor little vole that poked out from the snow, saw a group of 12 people staring at it, and promptly scurried away. Later, we saw more vole tracks interrupted by the sweep of a great horned owl’s wing. We came upon a frozen pond and made snow angels. frozen bubblesSome of our group decided to form “2017” in the snow, in numbers large enough to be seen from the sky. Our host wanted to show us the “magic forest” where, deep under snowdrifts in a bare wood, we discovered bubbles frozen in water, and in time.

It sifts from Leaden Sieves-
It powders all the Wood.
It fills with Alabaster Wool
The Wrinkles of the Road-

It makes an Even Face
Of Mountain, and of Plain-
Unbroken Forehead from the East
Unto the East again-

It reaches to the Fence-
It wraps it Rail by Rail
Till it is lost in Fleeces-
It deals Celestial Vail

To Stump, and Stack-and Stem-
A Summer's empty Room-
Acres of Joints, where Harvests were,
Recordless, but for them-

It Ruffles Wrists of Posts
As Ankles of a Queen-
Then stills its Artisans-like Ghosts-
Denying they have been-

~Emily Dickinson, c. 1862