Aggressive butterflies and other not-so-made-up paradoxes

Who is “they”, anyway?  I’m not sure, but they told me that butterflies are aggressive.

Ahem.  Sorry – allow me to explain.

Today, while walking through the sweltering heat to lunch, I passed the beautiful little garden that sits next to my theater.  It’s a lovely spot, and contrasts mightily with the black, sticky parking lot nearby.  There are always butterflies flitting about.  Today was no exception, except that the butterfly I saw was unusually beautiful and close and unafraid of me, so I got to study it a bit.  Of course, I must have looked like an idiot crouched over peering at a flower, but it was a nice little “stop and smell the roses” moment.   I thought of taking a picture, but then I decided I could be content with a picture in my imagination rather than on my camera.  That was a nice poetic thought that took me on my way to lunch. 

On the way back from lunch, lo and behold, the same butterfly was still there (at least I think it was the same one), busily working away to divest that stubborn flower of its pollen.  Ok, I said to myself, this is just too good to not try to photograph.  So I clumsily held out my phone, expecting the butterfly to flee, but no, that was one industrious little gal.  I managed to snare this rather awesome photo:

And back I went to the office, where a random conversation prompted me to show the photo to some coworkers.

Then I, in my weirdness, blurted out “Don’t they say that monarch butterflies are aggressive?”

My coworkers got a huge kick out of this.  “Where did you hear that?”  “Who’s ‘they’?”  “Have you been wondering this for years now?”  etc.  I, of course, allowed that I may have made this up, but silently vowed to look it up when I got home.

So I just asked my good pal Lady Google to show me the goods. She delivered, and it turns out that I am partially right.  There are aggressive breeds of butterflies, like the Red Admiral, “a conspicuous and aggressive butterfly that often claims a territory, like a road through a woods or even a parking lot, and defends it against all comers.”

With that little mystery solved (although I still can’t remember from what “they” I heard it), I was of course left pondering paradoxes like “aggressive butterflies.”  This, naturally, made me wonder if I really know the definition of paradox, so again I got some help from the interwebs and discovered that a paradox actually means:

A statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.

So aggressive butterflies qualify.  So do healthier Happy Meals.  Or a downgrade of the US credit rating. 

More random thoughts:  

I discovered tonight that my dog is afraid of sprinklers.  This would be funny if it didn’t mean I have a wuss for a dog; when she sees things that frighten her, she hides behind me.  So much for my own personal doggy bodyguard.

Speaking of bodyguards, as I strolled through ‘hood in the dark/dusk these past few nights, I’ve been pondering what would be the better self-defense weapon: my fraidy-cat dog, my keys (dutifully clenched so the keys are like spikes) or the bag of dog poop I carry on these walks?  Seriously, I think the latter might be my best bet. 

I wasn’t the only one trying to get some “fresh” air at 9pm or later tonight.  There were kids riding their bikes and skateboards in the street, under the streetlights and the watchful gaze of their parents.  I wonder if this is our future as temperatures get hotter; staying inside when the sun is out, and coming out to play at night.  That sounds like a sci-fi screenplay that someone has already written. 

Speaking of heat, yesterday the 10-day forecast crashed my IPhone.  I’m not kidding. 

On that cheery note, I think it’s time to call it a night.

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