Yesterday, I celebrated my last birthday in the 60’s.

It was a wonderful day from start to finish.

I decided to kick it off with a 10K (6.2 mile) sunrise power walk around our park. The weather was perfect and although I came close to my personal best time, I didn’t quite match it and I was OK with that.

After my walk, hubs and I enjoyed a leisurely coffee on our front porch. There’s a Mexican Shrimp Plant in our front yard that attracts hummingbirds by the scores. Yesterday there were no hummingbirds, but instead four big beautiful butterflies.

I walked down from the porch and quietly approached the bush. The Giant Swallowtail in my feature photo was easily as big as the palm of my hand. These aren’t native to our area of Canada so they’re definitely a treat to see.

In addition to the Giant Swallowtail, there were two Cloudless Sulphurs and an Orange Sulphur. These three were each a good size, but still dwarfed by the Giant Swallowtail.

Yellow Sulphur (I was unable to get a good photo of the Orange)

None of these butterflies seemed to mind me standing near the bush and they actually kept circling me as I stood there.

I’ve heard it said that butterflies can signify messages from loved ones who have passed. I’m choosing to believe that yesterday, I received happy birthday wishes from three dear friends and my Dad, who all passed in 2021.

Of course, my Dad would have been the Giant Swallowtail.

Photo Note: For normal everyday photos, I keep the “live” photo mode on my iPhone turned off, because those lives are mini videos so they take up a lot of storage space when it’s not necessary. When shooting something that’s moving quickly, such as a flag blowing in the wind, or a butterfly flitting about, I turn the live shooting mode on. That way, I’m able to select the frame from the little video that has the best photo.

Is it possible to become friends with a butterfly?”

“It is if you first become a part of nature. You suppress your presence as a human being, stay very still, and convince yourself that you are a tree or grass or a flower. It takes time, but once the butterfly lets its guard down, you can become friends quite naturally.”

Haruki Murakami