WHAT IS IT WITH ME AND DYING BUTTERFLIES
Tuesday was fairly windy all day. As I set out for my usual morning walk I could feel the changing of the seasons in the cool breezy air and wished I had thought to put on a warmer jacket. As I rounded the corner of the courthouse parking lot, I came upon this.
It was a butterfly, apparently in a seriously weakened state and unable to fly.
As I crouched down for a closer look I realized part of its right wing had been torn away. Didn't I see one just like this once before? But surely it could not be the same individual --
It was helpless against the wind and gripping the sidewalk for dear life was all it could do as it was repeatedly blown down on its side, but still it kept righting itself each time.
I could see its life was nearing the end. I wanted to keep vigil beside it and watch its final moments -- lend its death on the sidewalk some dignity by witnessing it -- but I could not stay; I had to get back to the office. I thought about at least getting it off its obvious location on the sidewalk so that it wouldn't get stepped on or eaten by a bird, but there were no likely places in the immediate vicinity, and placing it in the grass might actually cause it to be eaten by other insects while still alive. Also, forcibly picking it up when its feet were gripping the cement might cause it additional injury. I decided to leave it where it was.
In the afternoon I came back to the spot to check on it, half expecting it to be gone. It was still there, lying dead but untouched. I picked it up and placed it in the grass by the sidewalk. Now nature could take its course.