Lemon joy

This butterfly is not rare in Georgia, but I don’t remember ever seeing it before. Seems odd, given that its color is such a bright lemon yellow.

This summer was the first time I’d noticed it flitting around. I never got a good look at it because I was always rushing somewhere.

Today Tom and I finally took the time to simply sit on the deck at our rental house and do nothing but observe.

There isn’t a view, as there is at Azalea, but this house is surrounded by trees, and the temperature was absolutely perfect.

We had only been sitting a couple minutes when one of the lemon butterflies lit on the petunias. I got close enough to see its spots, and decided it was time to get out the camera.

The butterfly had disappeared by the time I came back, but another one came along soon after. And then another one, and another one.

This gave me ample time to take enough photos, at various angles. I was really pleased that the proboscis was visible in the side profile photo above.

I thought it was funny that the spots resemble cut lemon seeds. The butterfly would be perfectly camouflaged in an outdoor stand of lemons.

We looked and looked at these pretty floating lemons. It felt so luxurious to just watch a butterfly feeding on a petunia.

Later I Googled “lemon-colored butterfly” and learned its name: Cloudless sulphur butterfly – Phoebis sennae.

Cloudless sulphur butterfly - Phoebis sennae

Besides the butterflies, we were surrounded by lots and lots of birds. They played, sang, chattered, and flew among the branches, all within easy view of us. We laughed and talked back to them.

My plants, which had been scattered to the houses of three different friends when the oak tree fell, are finally all back with me. I watered them, spoke to them, tasted their leaves, and gathered the last of the basil, mints, lemon balm and bee balm.

I inhaled deeply of those calming fragrances in the bundle of herbs, and held them to Tom’s face so he could do the same.

What a relief to just be able see, smell, touch, taste, hear. Birds, butterflies, trees and mints … everything you need for a perfect afternoon.

We both took long naps afterward.

When life gives you lemon butterflies, make lemon balm dreams.

Today’s penny would be a 2016, but I don’t have one. So it will have to be a 2015, because these two years have melted together into a curdling, lemony butter.

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