A butterfly landed on the photographer’s shirt sleeve. Just a moment before, the same butterfly had landed on the photographer’s leather watch band. Trying a take a photograph of a butterfly which has landed on you is not exactly the easiest thing in the world to do.The butterfly flew away, and landed again on a nearby wooden bridge on a pathway.A frog in a creek bed...which did not land on the photographer’s shirt sleeve...or watch band.

A butterfly...a couple of frogs...and a raccoon....

Please read this...

Last week, I mentioned in this space that I had run out of words, so there were several big pictures of critters instead. I also mentioned that you didn’t have to worry, because I had ordered some words on Amazon. That was kind of a joke. 

Should have known better. Little did I know, but you can indeed order words on Amazon. Which, truth be told, is not surprising. You can find everything on Amazon. I suppose it’s kind of like the Sears catalog from way, way back in the day. (Kids: if you don’t know about the Sears catalog, ask your grandparents.)

I found a “Big Box of Word Chunks” educational board game on Amazon. Seemed appropriate for a journalist. And it only cost $22.86. 


Have you ever had a butterfly land on you? Twice. Until Labor Day, I’m pretty sure that I had not experienced such a thing. Not even once.

Way back in the day, a praying mantis landed on me. They are kind of scary looking bugs. Don’t remember how old I was, but the critter was scary. Still remember it.

The butterfly landed on me while I was taking a quick walk at one of the places in Union County which I visit on a regular basis. I think the butterfly, which was quite colorful, may be called a painted lady, but I’m not for sure.

Turns out that having a butterfly land on you may be a bit of a spiritual experience, in a good sort of way, which would be much nicer than having a praying mantis land on you when you are a little kid.

A little bit of research online turned up fascinating tidbits about what might be happening when a butterfly lands on you:

“...in some cases when a butterfly lands on you, it is a sign from your loved one in Spirit. A validation that their soul lives on...”

“...a butterfly landing on you can be a sign that your unconscious mind approves of something, probably related to personal development or service...”

“...it could very well be an angel sending you a message...”

“...you have a special connection with this creature, and it could be a sign that a butterfly is your animal spirit.”

I’ll be pondering these messages for a while...


I know you folks might be getting tired of hearing about our pandemic dates. But, I kind of figure these little adventures are part of the “history” of the pandemic. These dates have given us a chance to see and do something sort of “normal” during a time which is anything but normal.

We went on a date on Labor Day. Once again motored to the Trail of Tears State Forest and wandered around in a creek bed as the sun was quickly setting late on a summer day. We worked in another date last Sunday evening after dinner.

Sometimes, we get to see critters. On Labor Day, we saw a couple of frogs, including the one in the photograph which accompanies this column. 

We also saw a raccoon, much more up close and personal than I would have expected on such an excursion. I could hear some rustling in the undergrowth along the creek bed, just a foot or two away. 

At first, I could hear the noise, but could not see its source. Next thing I know, a raccoon meanders into sight. The critter didn’t seem a bit concerned about us at all. It just kind of strolled up the creek bed.

In addition to frogs and a raccoon, we’ve seen lots of white-tailed deer during our pandemic dates. I think we’ve seen about 14 or 16 white-tails, including several fawns, during our most recent adventures.

Our dates may not seem like much, but, like I said, they offer opportunities to do something “normal,” and maybe even safe.

By the way...we didn’t have any butterflies land on us...the frogs didn’t either. Might have been an even more interesting story if the raccoon had landed on one of us...


We’re going to finish up this week with a happy birthday message to my sweetheart. If you are a “friend,” you can tell her “happy birthday,” too. Today is the big day.


The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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