By Ralphine Major


Growing up, it seemed butterflies were in abundance on our dairy farm.  They could be spotted in the garden, around flowering bushes, or even on the grass.  Now, it seems, I seldom see one fluttering around anywhere.

As I have been looking for fall lately, the cooler morning temperatures and calendar months indicate that time of year is here.  But, the colorful fall leaves East Tennesseans are so accustomed to seeing are nowhere to be found.  Peak week, when the VOLS meet the Tide, has come and gone.  Still, there are no leaves of orange, red, or yellow hues.  In my search for fall foliage, I came across this photo of a gorgeous Monarch butterfly by Bryce Williams, Meteorologist with the U. S. National Weather Service.  Bryce seems to know as much about capturing images with a camera as he does about cumulus clouds and wind chill factors.  He photographed this beautiful Monarch butterfly on the coast near Portland recently.  I admire the Monarch’s delicate wings and its quiet beauty.  What a tiny and beautiful gift our Creator has given us to enjoy.  Nature is truly amazing!

As so many times before, a verse in the Old Testament comes to mind.

“He hath made everything beautiful in his time . . . (Ecclesiastes 3:11,  KJV).  Then, I notice a slight sign of green summer leaves underneath the Monarch beginning to turn.  Maybe it is fall after all.