Red Admiral Butterflies are Way Cool

I was sitting on my patio this morning in the warm sun and very cool 48 degree air, reading and writing and zoning out – when I was alighted upon by one of these awesome little creatures. Just as if I were a piece of the lawn furniture. Or a pretty flower. Or the window ledge like in this photo that I took later in the afternoon.

He lingered on my shoulder just long enough for me to note that his wings are silky smooth on the topside and super rough on the underside. Very cool.

I like that he chose me to land on. It made me feel special.

And so. I was sitting on the patio reading all day – because in my barefooted ways I landed super hard on a tiny little piece of pea gravel taking out the trash this morning at 7am – and had to take the rest of the day off my feet.

How lucky was that though? It allowed me to almost finish, The Buddha Walks into a Bar, by Lordro Rinzo. Which I hope to post about tomorrow or the next day.

And it brought me a world of new friends. Red Admiral Butterflies.

Waves on a Great Lake

Everything (just about)  I love came together on my run today.

Thinking about how much I enjoy running, and being outside and the energy of the lake and the beauty of the birds, I guess that’s really not all that unusual. Coupled with a February 18th in Chicago that is a bright, crisp 36 degrees. It is an amazing day.

So I head down to Gillson Park to run along the beach and among the sand and ice formations, over all the mini-moguls created by the wind and the water.

The sun is bright and low, making it impossible to see anything to the west. I actually have to focus most of my attention on the sand to ensure a safe foot strike anyway, so I don’t mind the western blindness. I sneak a peek often to the east to watch the waves coming in to shore, the surf  crashing, and churning, and receding and crashing again. Maybe I hear it more as my witness. The constant whoosh, deafening all else. Perfect conditions, really to concentrate on the frozen, craggy beach of Lake Michigan below each step.

But first on my way down to the water, I follow some Juncos into a little thicket of trees along the harbor. I don’t know why.  Although, I’m learning to trust my instincts when I wander off the path. What makes me look up? Don’t know. But on a very low branch, maybe five feet above my head is beautifully regal red tail hawk. I move closer and closer until I am just beneath him. He looks at me, I look at him. And that’s what we do for a good five minutes until he lifts off and glides over the harbor.

As much as I love running alone – today I wish I had my family with me. To be part of this experience that I find so spellbinding. I think that would have made this run perfect.