Sister Butterfly

Welcome Spring to the mountains of New Mexico!  As the days warm up I am reminded of a brief encounter I had with a California Sister butterfly a few years ago, while going about my daily routine. . .

There are advantages to hanging your laundry out in the air to dry.  Fresh clothes.  Zero energy cost.  And the stretching and reaching motion opens up your chest and allows all that good air to flush out the unused areas of your lungs.  It’s therapy – yeah.

Not to mention the critters.

So I’m puttering around the backyard, hanging up laundry – and this sweet thing is fluttering along behind, trying to land on me.  She must have been attracted to the white T-shirt I was wearing, because she was very insistent.

Isn’t she pretty?  When I was finished hanging the clothes up to dry, I went to my computer to try and identify it.  They are known as either “California Sister” or “Arizona Sister” butterflies.  The “sister” part, is because the white markings look like a nuns habit.  I love the blue markings up near the top.  These are fairly large butterflies, as you can see, her wings are about as wide as the top part of my hand.

I tried to move her from my shirt and put her on the tomato plant, several times.  I was afraid she would get hurt riding on my back while I was tossing laundry around.  She finally fluttered off (in search of a stationary T-shirt, no doubt).

I was very pleased to have her as a friend for even that short amount of time. I have not seen another one since.

One Comment

  1. Comment by Cindy:

    I have to tell you a story on this one. My husband and I were traveling the southwest last August for a month. My husband’s sister had passed away at age 60 from cancer just 2 months prior. There had been stories and mysteries about butterflies  going back and forth during her illness that she shared with a coworker and how when this coworker’s sister-in-law was passing away, she had butterflies that kept showing up for her that never did before. Right before Julie passed away, we whispered to her, “remember the purple butterflies”. She seemed unconscious but then smiled…. The day we laid her in the ground, there was a butterfly that landed on her casket, just as they were lowering her in.
    This brings us to that day in the Coronado National Forest in southeast Arizona. We were camping in a remote site, just sitting there and this butterfly kept trying to land on my arm. She stayed on my arm for an hour, even with getting out of my chair and wandering around a little stream there!!!! I told my husband this must be Julie, coming to tell us everything is okay….. Ok, now get this, the next day, we hiked in the Coronado National Monument area, about 20 miles away. On one of the boards there, showing us the flora and fauna showed this exact butterfly that was on my arm the day before for that hour…. the name of this butterfly??????? California SISTER butterfly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We truly believe this special, beautiful creature was then for sure my husband’s sister. I will never forget that. It was so spiritual 🙂 

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