A butterfly on a baseball

The Other Side of Butterflies

Last updated: January 2023

Butterflies and baseball are 2 of my favorite things. Both combine simplicity, flashes of beauty, and long stretches of quiet and apparent inactivity to balance bursts of frenetic activity.

I love warm weather, which coincides with baseball and butterflies. Over the years, both have become part of my lifestyle. I usually listen to the part of the game cleaning up after dinner.

The rhythm of nature

The appearance of nectar (butterfly food) flowers signals that butterfly season is near. And it’s official once a butterfly or two is spotted darting through the yard. Every year, the butterflies seem to come out of nowhere, with no notion of how long they intend to stay. Of course, they don’t come out of nowhere.

Monarchs are famous for the migration of sequential generations that begins in Mexico and California, heads north, with the final generation traveling back to Mexico, where they overwinter, waiting to breed the generation that flys north again.

Resident butterflies like Swallowtails spend fall, winter, and part of spring stowed away as chrysalides, clinging to branches, siding, and anything else they can manage to stick to. They wake-up as fully formed adult butterflies, break out of their chrysalis and get going.

Butterflies aren’t the only ones fluttering around. Baseball players, managers, and coaches come and go, moving between cities and countries so often that it would be impossible to keep track without the legion of bloggers and analysts paid to  comb through and make sense of the mountain of information.

2021 was a great year for butterflies, less so for my Detroit Tigers. It seems like things should have leveled out between my 2 passions in 2022. Wrong!

It happens to the best of us

The Tigers have struggled mightily at every turn and lots of my caterpillars and butterflies have died. This isn’t new. Both of “my teams” have struggled in the past and will likely do so again, but that doesn’t make it any easier to watch.

The ups and downs of butterflies and baseball have taught me a few things about what’s important:

It's on the inside

Sometimes our satisfaction must come from our goals and principles rather than immediate results. The loss of each caterpillar or butterfly is upsetting, but it feels good to know that my garden helps many more than I’ll ever see.

Your influence counts

Sharing information about protecting pollinators and pictures of the butterflies I raise makes a difference. Members of my social circles have taken steps to participate because of what they’ve seen me do.

Put in the time

In 2012, I decided to learn as much about baseball as I could. This meant watching and listening to games, reading, and connecting with fellow seamheads on Twitter. This investment has paid untold dividends in the form of information and relationships.

Your happiness matters

No matter what’s happening around us, we must find something to look forward to. We’re living in some challenging times with a diabolical disease for an adversary, but we can do hard things!

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