Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Blinding Light

It’s about the cabbage white butterflies.  They go crazy in mid-September.  Numbering in the thousands, they come bouncing haphazardly through the bluebird sky.  By late afternoon, the butterflies have gone completely daft.
Yesterday, driving across the North Valley on my way home, I encountered hordes of butterflies tumbling across the highway from the surrounding alfalfa fields.  They were blind with brainstem instinct.  Singular in focus, maybe drunk on sunlight, the cabbage white butterflies encountered their own slaughter on the highways.  I cannot tell you how many dead butterflies littered the highway or how many surfed into the grill of my truck.
Theirs is a quiet desperation.  Living as an adult for no more than three weeks, but able to reproduce after only two days, they have much to do in the waning days of our summer.
Here the come—flapping toward the next generation or fluttering toward a grim end on the long highway.

--Mitchell Hegman


  1. In a way there are many of us, supposedly more evolved creatures, who are like your cabbage white butterflies -- singularly focused on just their own comfort and well being and apathetic to injustice around them. These people are fortunate if on their death bed they finally realize that they are all part of us -- the whole -- and that what each of us does in our lives eventually impact on everyone else's.

  2. Yeah swe humans tend to have the butterfly syndrome. Some become conscious enough to be able to get out of it and unfortunately some don't.