Sunday, September 16, 2012

Monarch Rescue

     That's an unusual title . . . I'll explain further down in this post.
      Yesterday, I attended a conference for people facing life after cancer treatment. The conference held in Quincy was called "The Art of Living Well: Life Beyond Cancer" sponsored by the Friends of Mel Foundation. This foundation was founded in memory of Mel Simmons, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2005.  Perhaps you have seen the bright, colorful, beaded Mel bracelets that some women wear. According to the program booklet, the foundation has to date given $3,000,000 to fund cancer research, education, and support. The topics of the various sessions focused on important issues for cancer survivors.

     Laster, I attended the "Together for Life" concert of Voices of Hope at Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory. What a glorious night of singing it was!  Joining the Voices of Hope were Livingston Taylor and Candy O'Terry from Magic 106.7. She has a beautiful voice! She had moderated a panel discussion earlier in the day at the conference. When she had stepped up to the mike, she sang an amazing a cappella version of "Amazing Grace."  The Andover High School choir also performed.I had never heard of "Voices of Hope," but according to the program notes, the mission of this group is "to aid in the fight against cancer by raising our voices in song. Through song, we celebrate those we love, remember theses we have lost, honor those who fight, and rejoice for those who survive. With music as our voice, we raise awareness and funds to support those who conduct the research and create the hope of finding a cure for generations to come."
     Now to the title of this post.  This morning before going to Mass, I was out in the backyard with Emma. From the corner of my eye, I spotted something strange in my flower bed. A small section of flowers was moving crazily while all around the rest of the flowers were calm. I couldn't at first figure out what was going on. On closer inspection, I found a monarch butterfly hanging upside down caught in a spider web, and the butterfly was thrashing around madly trying to free itself.  I gently broke the web around the butterfly while I cradled it in my cupped hands. The sticky strands covered the butterfly's wings, so I oh so gently tried to remove the stringy strands from the wings. Unfortunately, when the butterfly closed its wings, the remaining residue prevented it from opening them again. I tried to dab a bit more off the wing with my fingertip. I placed the butterfly on a nearby butterfly bush not really expecting much, but after a few moments it fluttered a short way to another blossom. When I returned to the bush after playing a bit with Emma, the butterfly was not to be found. I, of course, checked the bush and the ground below, but thankfully there was no sign of the butterfly. It was a really unusual experience and I'm glad it turned out so well. :-)
     Update: Today there were five monarchs fluttering about in my garden this morning; I can only hope one was the butterfly from yesterday.

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