Tortoiseshell butterfly pressed against one of the window panes, and made a mental note to rescue it later and release it into the sunshine. However when class was over I discovered it was trapped between the glass and a sheet of heavy Perspex, in a space too deep and narrow to reach my hand into. What’s more there was another, smaller Tortoiseshell trapped in a window space further along.
The larger butterfly seemed distressed, battering its wings against the
pane in an attempt to escape, the other had given up and was resting, wings spread against the glass.
I searched the building for something to reach down into the space, and found a long twig in a flower arrangement. Then I climbed up onto a chair – the windows are high – and began my rescue
It took a long time, several near misses, much fluttering, much panic, my hands clumsy and trembling with stress that increased with each futile attempt – I despaired that I was making everything worse - until finally the first butterfly began to climb up the stick. I drew it up so slowly, into my cupped hands and out of the building, leaving a bright torn fragment of wing behind. Somehow, second time around, both butterfly and I seemed to know what to do, and she emerged within minutes, unharmed.
My husband always telepaths his intentions – he told me later – when he’s trying to rescue an animal or insect. If nothing else, this must focus the mind. Who knows what touches these creatures – what they feel or experience? I only know that my sense of connection in that moment was intense, and relief at
the outcome lightened the hour.
On the same day, my cousin in his brilliant blog, nigeness, writes of the 'glorious profusion' of the butterfly year.