The story of my love for the tiger chestnut butterfly continues.
I know some of you will be happy to hear that!
A little background about the Tiger Chestnut butterflies.
They are called Asagimadera アサギマデラ in Japanese.
These migratory butterflies leave from their `home` in Okinawa every year in the spring and travel north making stops in different places in Japan on their way north to Hokkaido where they spend the hot summer months.
One of their stopping places is here in Oita. They stop on an island called Himeshima, where they can find fujibakama, a flower whose scent they adore. So I made a trip with a friend in the spring to Himeshima where I heard you can see hundreds of these butterflies during their migration. It turned out they had just left the day we got there, but I was lucky to see ONE tiger chestnut butterfly who for some reason lagged behind. I sensed some kind of destiny as if he or she remained just so I could see her!! (why else would just ONE remain?!)
It was a beautiful day that day on Himeshima, and I wasn`t disappointed that the 100`s of butterflies had flown away, as I was just so happy to have seen that one. I decided though that I would return in the fall to try again to see the migration when they return to the south and stop here in Oita again.
Fast forward to today. I was with two friends on a day trip to visit a shrine in Kagoshima, a 3 hour drive from where I live, nothing to do with butterflies. We got a little lost and my friend pulled into a Daily Yamazaki convenience store to confirm the location of the shrine we were headed for.
I noticed something unusual on the outside of the convenience store, there was a poster with a big picture of an Asagimadera butterfly, with words that said that this type of migratory butterflies have been known to come to this store. I must say it seemed a little unusual, almost as if the poster was there for me! ..here is a photo of the poster that attracted me:
I don`t think any of my friends noticed it, and I saw it as some kind of message, to remind me that it was that time of year when the butterflies will be coming this way again. An unexpected surprise to see such a poster at all, and seeing it on the outside of a convenience store on this road that we stopped for directions was a little like seeing something out of a dream made for me.
Before we got back in the car, I noticed a TOMARE on the road, so I asked my friends if they wouldn`t mind if I just STOPPED there for a bit. As you know I like to stop on Tomares whenever I see one!! THen the amazing thing happened. As I was standing on the TOMARE a real live Asagimadera flew right in front of my eyes!! I couldn`t believe my eyes, yet I was SURE it was an Asagimadera. I tried to follow her but she flew out of view.
|when I stopped on a tomare, the amazing thing happened! An asagimadera||butterfly flew right in front of my eyes!!|
I ran in and told the shopkeeper, as I knew from the poster that she would be interested to know this. She said, wow, that is the first one that anyone has spotted this fall! They must be returning to Oita!
She asked if it was still there and I said no, but then when we were going to get back in the car, I saw it again, and I screamed for joy, and started flying around with her (yes, the butterfuly) and danced with her in the parking lot. It was wonderful. I screamed to my friends to go and tell the shopkeeper!
The shopkeeper came out and everyone was thrilled and we all took pictures and I continued to dance with the Asagimadera.
I had seen the last one of the butterflies in the spring, and the first one to return in the fall.
I feel a completeness in this cycle, and perhaps this year is not my year to see the hundreds,
but rather to be fully grateful for the chance to meet that spectacular ONE!!