Friday, July 20, 2018

Don't Fence Me In...

Each summer, I encourage a wild swat of milkweed to root itself safely down the entire length of our entrance way to the gallery. Each year it increases in its numbers and density and in so doing... it attracts and encourages different types of butterflies to visit during each day in the summer.

The road crews nearly everywhere clear cut all milkweed and other wildflowers from along Ontario roadsides and highways. In so doing, they are unwittingly removing plants that allow bees to pollinate and with milkweed... they remove the sole plant upon which endangered monarch butterflies will lay their eggs for incubation.

According to a Toronto Hospital Fundraising brochure claim..."Each year, monarch butterflies across North America make the expedition from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. This 3,000 kilometre journey signifies the butterflies strength and perseverance and is a beautiful symbol of determination and courage."

It seems easy to explain why each of us in our family relate the Monarch's journey and the characteristics of this remarkable insect when we think of our daughter Allison's journey to battle with breast cancer. Several of her friends joined her mother Joan to release live monarchs to carry out their journey as a tribute to Allie's unkind and untimely leaving to go to a place that we can never hope to visit with her.

In my own case, I seek to create a natural free resting space for those that find their way to me on their long migration. Strangely enough, I have one mischievous fellow who visits every
day, who takes joy out of teasing me... as I try to catch her image with my camera. That game of hide-and-go-seek is not restricted to the patch itself. From time to time, she tries ... it seems to tease me out of the gallery to rejoin the game.

The tease finally captured... momentarily...

                          Another bewitchingly beautiful gossamer playmate... the swallowtail

Aside for the feeling of closeness that I feel to Allison... I am gobsmacked by the fragrant gift of the patch's perfume... gift enough for my efforts. But the total overall joy this wee space affords me is more than enough payment for my attention and effort.

The life cycle of this beautiful creature of Nature chronicles the distinct stages of its life cycle in a very visible fashion. I records the brevity of life itself... but the contribution that each butterfly makes during its limited lifespan. Each life does matter...

I will end this post with words that are not mine... but for certain they speak of the deep feelings of Faith and Hope that these winged creatures inject into my life.

One Day Butterflies

Aren't we all one day butterflies
not aware of time.
Searching for partners or honey
until Death kisses us.
Then in his arms, tenderly rocked
waiting for a new chance to fly away again
and join the dance
of the one day butterfly.

And to these wonderfully expressive words and lines I choose to add a painting which offers a similar message.

                                        "Don't Fence Me In" - oil on panel  24 x 20 inches

                                                                Dare to dream
                                                                              outside of the box
                                                     that causes so many to fall short
                                                                of greater things.
                                                                              Reach out and risk flying
                                                                  To Discover
                                                                               true Joy and Happiness
                                                          Which only the complete
                                                                                       Freedom to fly

                                                                        Soar onward... fearlessly!

                                         Good Summer Painting... and rich Blessings ... to ALL! 


  1. Bruce - you so well captured your butterflies. I am always out chasing mine to get them on film. Loved your lovely lines you shared too and always your gorgeous paintings. Take care friend.

  2. Thanks Debbie... for your comments and continued interest in my blog. Butterflies seem... such a social connector between the Natural and human kingdoms. They offer such joy ... without even trying!

    Happy summer and rich blessings Debbie!

    Warmest regards,

  3. Good Evening Bruce,

    I'm glad to hear you're doing your bit to help the butterflies, they need all the help they can get these days. I hear that in a lot of the UK they are under threat from intensive farming and climate change. Fortunately the farms around here are small and less intensive so we have lots of wild flowers and plenty of butterflies.

    I like the painting. The flowers, being the same colour, echo the butterfly and seem to be dancing in the air themselves.

    All the best,

  4. How wonderful that you are planting milkweeds for the monarchs! I can remember, as a child, having them growing along our fences and pulling them apart, blowing the seeds and white parts all over - we just knew they were fun, not good for monarchs and other butterflies :) Lovely words and painting today! Thanks for sharing and you, too, have a glorious summer with the butterflies and bees and flowers.

  5. Good morning Keith!... Yes... creatures of all orders are greatly at risk due to our influence and climate change.

    I have always loved butterflies because they exemplify the sense of freedom and joie de vivre that I have sought out feel in both my personal and artistic lives.

    The day lilies summon up distinct thoughts of summer and the energy of life.

    I intentionally placed all of the elements together to recreate or to echo theme that I chose to express. Color is the binding force or adhesive.

    Thanks for dropping by and again adding your very cogent and supportive comments and observations!

    Happy Summer Painting Keith and rich Blessings!
    Warmest regards,

  6. Good morning Rhonda!... You see... our paths have touched before... our actions simply overlapping.

    Children share a very predictable pathway through life. Some of us... remain attached... because we hold on to our precious child within and let "Him"... or "Her" out to play when we feel safe and in the presence of other kindred spirits.

    Thank you for remaining "connected"... and supportive Rhonda!

    Happy Summer and rich Blessings!
    Warmest regards,