Monday, 18 August 2008

War wounds

I think, but I don't KNOW, that this is a speckled wood butterfly. It landed on a bramble and I took a quick snap, because my memory for markings is pretty poor and by the time I'd have had the book in my hand I would be scratching my head over any discernible feature other than the hopeful memory that it was mainly brown.
And now, in the comfort of my chair, and filling the screen, I can see how torn its lower wing is between the two eyes. It reminds me of Smudge's ears, those delicate filigree whorls and thin skinned points that took such a beating from unknown cats. I used to gently finger those healed slits and notches and tell him he was just as beautiful as before, just with added character, like a mother reassuring a daughter with a beauty spot or a son with a significant nose.
I have some temporary wounds of my own; sharp kitten claws rake my legs, arms and neck as
they clamber up me for attention, hanging indiscriminately from zips, buttons, flesh.

5 comments:

Jay said...

It looks like a Speckled Wood, doesn't it?

They do get ragged, these poor butterflies, especially during a windy summer, I think. And I know exactly what you mean about cat's ears.

My dogs are full of 'war wounds' too. Being greyhounds, and second-hand at that, they have numerous little dings and scrapes (and some not-so-little scars too) of unknown origin. Most of them are probably from puppy play, those sharp little toenails and teeth make little circular scars in greyhound hide. But there are others, like the 'hedge tears' on the Pirate's stomach, which look more sinister. We'll never know how he came by them, but he's beautiful to us!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

I love butterfly's but am completely ignorant of each make and model! It's just nice to see more about this year as they were obliterated by the heavy rain last year. The buddlia plant next door attracts hundreds but because we have had a wet summer again this year the numbers have dwindled. Bummer.

tim relf said...

Going a bit off piste here - but just noticed you've got A Month in the Country on your reading list. Would you recommend it?

Mopsa said...

That sounds like your boy has had a sad beginning - but a happy time now.

MOB - ditto - I have to scrutinise and then make lots of caveats!

Tim - it's a very short and easy read - well written, of its time, a period piece. Worth it even if there is no satisfactory denouement, which in itself is satisfying, if you know what I mean.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Digital cameras can be useful that way can't they? I have also spotted Speckled Woods in my urban Sheffield garden.