When a lightning strike ignited a blaze which destroyed my parents' storage building, we gathered at daylight to inspect the damage. It was a hot, muggy and altogether dreary morning as we rummaged through thousands of smoldering memories for anything tangible that might be salvaged. Shortly after Cousin Layne arrived, she encountered this beauty among the ashes.
As if to offer some small degree of solace for our sorrow, it did not shy from her approach; instead eagerly mounting her proffered finger and accompanying her as she collected scattered coins from a glass bank shattered by the intense heat of the flames.
When Layne's task required two hands, the lovely sprite graciously switched companions and joined Julie in her labors.
Assuming the delicate creature would prefer a place in the blossoms to the soot-blackened footprint of the old shed, Julie gently placed her in a pot of purple petunias.
Perhaps she found much-needed minerals in the soot and sweat which coated their hands, or perhaps there was some other logical explanation for her behavior; in any event, her brief but beautiful presence provided a real and pleasant distraction from the destruction of the night just past.
Limenitis arthemis astyanax, or Red Spotted Purple