Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Yes, there will be beautiful, inspiring butterfly photos, but first there will be some whining. So bear with me, because I've been saving it up for a while.

I've been feeling progressively more crappy for almost four weeks now. Just, tired. Then tireder. Then too tired to function. It started with the walking. I'm a big walker. I don't have a driver's license, but that's fine by me, because I love to walk, almost anywhere, in almost any weather. My commute to work is like this: 15 minutes of walking, 10 minutes on the bus, 15 more minutes of walking. My second walk of the morning is the best part. It takes me by the side of a huge, beautiful park, filled with trees, wildflowers, and songbirds. I look forward to that walk.

Three weeks ago I found that I was just too tired for it. I could make it to the bus stop, and then after my usual bus ride I had to wait at the corner for The Infrequent Bus to take me the last three stops to my office. It killed me to get on that stinky bus and get driven past my beautiful park. I fought it, I did. But I was too tired.

I had trouble at work. Mornings were the worst. I tried to hide it when other people were watching, but I was shuffling around the office. Couldn't lift my heavy feet off the floor. And cranky? Man, I was cranky. There were a lot of times when I felt the need to go back to people and apologize. But there was so much to be done. I took a Friday off to try to recoup; stayed at home that weekend for three days, just resting. Otherwise, I pushed through. I'm willful, if not wise.

The week that my assistant was away, I felt I absolutely had to go in. I had a lot of help from loyal colleagues to do my own job and hers. I pulled some very intense long days and got even crabbier. I started to dislike myself for being such a grump.

I woke up in the mornings feeling like I couldn’t catch my breath

Finally, this weekend, I cracked. I couldn’t push through it any more. I crashed. And since then I’ve been almost too tired to move. I’m so done in that I’m actually going to see my doctor tomorrow, which is unusual. I’m not one to run to him for ever little thing. But I’ve been resting for a few days, and I’m still so tired that it actually feels like a significant effort just to put together a blog post. I’d rather just lie around and stare at the TV, or even the ceiling. But then, like I said, I’m willful.

The last normal thing I did, in a well-meaning attempt to Think Positive and energize myself through exposure to beauty, was go with Ken to visit a butterfly conservatory. I’m not sorry that I went, even though the drive was long and the adventure exhausted me further.

The photos can't describe how fantastic it was to walk into the 5,000 square foot greenhouse filled with dozens of big, tropical butterflies. They were everywhere, flying within inches of my nose, decorating every surface. The sensation of being surrounded by a constant flurry of colour and life was transporting.

Ken flinched when they came too near to his head. I wasn’t worried. I figured they’re programmed to fly accurately. If they miss us by such a close margin that we feel the whoosh of their wings, that’s just a sign of their fearlessness. At least that’s what I thought until a big one, each wing the size of my palm, flew thwap into my face. Then suddenly I was all AAAAAAHMAHGAHD! GIANTBUGGETITOFFME! Outwardly I just yelped, but after that I started dodging when they got too close.

Another time I was pointing out a new type of butterfly to Ken, when another butterfly spontaneously landed on my pointing finger. It was so unexpected that I reflexively shook it off, and then immediately regretted my reaction as it flew away.

This is a Blue Morpho eating lunch. Why is it called a Blue Morpho?

Because the tops of its wings are blue.

An Emerald Swallowtail:

This one is either a Rice Paper Butterfly or a Wood Nymph, I'm not 100% sure which:

This is the nursery, where freshly hatched butterflies dry their wings among chrysalises that are still waiting for their turn.

I'm not sure what these are, but dang, they're pretty.

Here's a shot of the interior of the conservatory. Ooh, a waterfall!

There were also birds, turtles, big goldfish in the pond, giant African snails, and at least another dozen types of butterflies. I have around 60 photos that were worth keeping. These are all you're getting because it's taking Blogger around 5 minutes per photo to upload right now. :-pppp

Enjoy! And I'm going to go back to lying around. Here's the bright side to being a little feverish: when our AC can't keep up with the afternoon sun and the temperature creeps up to 80 degrees, I feel cool as a cucumber. Anything under 78 and I'm reaching for my fleece blanket. If it wasn't for Mr. Sweaty here (sorry Ken) I'd turn the AC off completely. But I guess the healthy person gets to set the standard for a healthy environment. Especially when he's taking care of me.


Jameil said...

Very glad you're going to the doctor. Rashan & I went to a butterfly conservatory that was walking distance from my apt. on campus. SO COOL!! The blue morphos were so elusive there! We couldn't catch them with their wings open! The lady said butterflies are attracted to light colors & I was wearing white & it was sunny so they kept landing on me. It was so cool! :)

Kate said...

WE have a butterfly garden where I live, too. I usually save it for the dark winter days when I want to slash my throat open with a ballpoint pen, I'm so depressed. But I'm so glad you went! And I'm glad you're going to the doctor, too. You need to. Don't mess around with your health.

Anonymous said...

Oooooh, you've just given me an idea.

Anonymous said...

Hope your doctor can figure out what's wrong. I know how being tired stinks. Get well soon. :)

Great butterfly shots though. :)

G said...

That is very cool. My daughter went to one on her birthday in February, and now at least I can get an idea on what it was like.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Hope you get to feeling better soon. Glad you're going to the doctor, hopefully it's something simple that a vitamin or something will put right.

DarcsFalcon said...

I'm so jealous! I've always wanted to go to a butterfly garden! The pictures were awesome. :)

I hope you feel better soon hon. Being tired sucks. I remember in the 80s there was something going around called "Epstein-Barr" virus or something like that, that was making people tired. I never did find out what caused it or if a cure was ever developed. But maybe you could mention it to your doc. And until you find out, eat more red meat! Get that iron pumping into your blood! Think of it as a great excuse to eat steak every night. ;) Keep us posted.

Claire said...

Glad you're getting checked out sweetie - that level of tired is in need of a doctor, I would say. love those butterflies - I think that might be the same butterfly sanctuary I went to with Ash, actually!


Sparkling Red said...

Jameil: Next time I go to the butterfly conservatory, I'm definitely going to wear white! :-)

Kate: It would be like going on vacation to visit the butterflies in the winter. It would be a very long drive if it were snowy, but I might be able to convince Ken to go for it.

WIGSF: You're makin' me curious.

jdanetyler: Thanks. This morning my doctor said he thinks its probably a bad case of anemia, but we'll see what the blood tests say by next week.

G: You should go if you ever get the chance. Everyone should go!

Ron: So far it looks like I'll be drinking a lot more iron juice before I'm back on my feet again.

darcsfalcon: I'm getting re-acquainted with my old pal, Palafer (liquid rust syrup - yummy!). It's like eating 50 steaks with every spoonful.

Claire: Thanks. I do tend to put off going to the doctor, because usually by the time I'm at the appointment I've already started feeling better. Not this time though.

LL Cool Joe said...

Wow love the photos, I've never been to a butterfly conservatory.

Sorry I'm grinning to myself because you show lovely photos of butterflies on your blog and I show dead birds on mine. :D

Jenski said...

Hope you can get an explanation after seeing the doctor. My friend was tired all the time and had a bunch of blood work and was extremely vit. D deficient. Hopefully it is something easy to take care of!

Love the butterfly pictures. Did Ken say I told you so after the butterfly hit you in the face? :-)

Ily said...

We have a butterfly world not far from Miami and now you've inspired me to google the place and check it out. Your photos are beautiful!!

I think it's a perfect world to escape into...after my cruise!

Hope you get some much-needed r & r and recharge those batteries, Chica! Take good care of yourself and have a great weekend!

Sparkling Red said...

Joe: It's not too late to put up some butterfly photos! You could work them into Wardrobe Wednesdays. I'm sure there's one to match each colour outfit, like your caps.

Jenski: He sure did! The butterflies were most interested in getting close to him because he has a blue streak in his hair, so they thought he was a flower. He had to do a lot of dodging to keep them off.

Ily: I hope you go and put photos up on your blog. That would be cool!