Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Look Up!

I started my walk with my eyes up. I was in search of Monarchs, the "Queen" of butterflies. It's time for their annual migration, a journey that takes them from northern climes to the warmth of southern California and Mexico for the winter months. The Kansas Wetlands Education Center near Great Bend hosted a Monarch Mania event the second weekend in September, and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge's comparable event was last weekend.

Just that morning, I had seen a photo of Monarchs on Quivira's Facebook page.
Photo: Stick around for awhile:  migrating Monarch butterflies were seen in groups like this in the trees around Headquarters this morning - just in time for our annual Monarch Mania event!  It will be held from 9:00 am to noon tomorrow (21 September) at Quivira's Environmental Education Classroom.  As with all of our events, it's free - and fun!  Come by and see.
Photo from Quivira National Wildlife Refuge's Facebook Page - September 20, 2013
I'm just a few miles from the refuge, so I hoped I would find a similar scene nestled in the trees on the County Line.  As I gazed upwards, I glimpsed a few Monarchs, flitting in and out of the canopy of trees just down the road from our house. They would dart into my line of vision, gracefully catch the air currents and drift away from view into the maze of green leaves. Kind of like a busy toddler I know, they didn't pause for a formal portrait by an amateur photographer.

A walk awaited - whether the butterflies cooperated or not. And I was again reminded that sometimes we overlook the small gifts of everyday in our peering for the next big thing. All week, Randy had mentioned the thousands of yellow butterflies that seemed to have become "squatters" in our alfalfa fields.

My internet search to positively identify them came up empty. There are plenty of websites focused on the majestic Monarch, but I didn't find one where a little yellow butterfly was the star of the show.

But as I took a detour from the dirt road into the alfalfa field, the little yellow "flying machines" came in for landings on colorful alfalfa blossoms, drinking in their nectar.
Were they dramatic Monarchs, with their brilliant orange and black, stained-glass-like markings?

Did they have a beauty all their own as the sunlight seemed to illuminate their paper-thin wings?
Most assuredly.
As I returned to the road, I saw even smaller moths, hardly bigger than the fingernail on my pinky finger. If I hadn't been looking up, I'd never have seen them.
Sometimes, I'm guilty of just plodding along, staring at my feet, lost in my own thoughts. It can happen on a morning walk. It can happen metaphorically, too, as I get lost in the minutia of a to-do list and don't pause to appreciate my everyday blessings.
Blessings don't just come on the wings of Monarchs. They can come from lowly moths and dried up corn stalks. We just have to look up.

A Time to Think

To pray is to listen, to move through my own chattering to God, to that place where I can be silent and listen to what God may have to say. –Madeleine L'Engle, author

A Time to Act

Use today as an opportunity to listen to God's voice.

A Time to Pray

God, thank You for the moments that wake me up to this perfectly beautiful world.
(Wisdom from a Guideposts daily email devotional)
Today I'm linked to Jennifer Dukes Lee's Tell His Story.  Click on the link to read more!


  1. Well said Kim. Always great to appreciate the little things!

    1. Thanks, Tony! Have a wonderful Wednesday!

  2. Lovely photos with your devotional. We do tend to undervalue the beauty we see everyday.

    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Constance!

  3. Isn't it amazing what we miss when we aren't paying attention? I was so busy weeding the flower beds this morning that I almost missed several butterflies & a couple of hummingbirds flitting around the flowers. This world has amazing beauty if we just look for it. Glad you found some today.

    1. We put a hummingbird feeder up for the first time this summer, but they haven't found us yet. I remember watching hummingbirds outside my grandparents' window at Sublette. I'm still somewhat amazed that the little birds visited Western Kansas, but my grandparents' yard was a beautiful oasis. Hope you find lots of hidden treasures today, too. (I enjoyed sitting by your Mom at the volleyball game last Tuesday night.)

  4. Oh, yes ... When I step away from the computer and the to-do lists and the home obligations, and just be still? Glories await. Thank you for sharing your beauty with us at #TellHisStory. And Kim ... thank you for your prayers for Lydia. She's doing so much better today. I really appreciate you, and it meant a lot that you reached out with your email, too.

    1. I appreciate you taking time to visit with all that's going on in your life. Continued prayers for Lydia'! (Unfortunately, I had my own "date" with an oral surgeon a couple of weeks ago, so I can commiserate!)