A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Illustrations for Sensational Summer are from Bette's award-winning children's picure book, AMAZING MATILDA.

Illustrations for the poem “Sensational Summer” are from Bette’s award-winning children’s picture book, AMAZING MATILDA.

Much like a Monarch butterfly, the summer is quickly flying past us here at The Farmstead in Central Maine. In fact, it won’t be long before these amazing butterflies begin their great southern migration to Mexico, where they’ll aggregate (cluster in dense tree cover) to keep warm, enabling this generation of monarchs to winter over before they mate and begin the next generation’s migration north for the 2017 season.  Matilda (a Monarch butterfly and the main character in my picture book AMAZING MATILDA) and I wish you and yours a sensational summer! ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator 

We invite you to take a look inside AMAZING MATILDA, A Monarch’s Tale and check out other books by Bette A. Stevens

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Comments on: "SENSATIONAL SUMMER: A Monarch Butterfly Poem by Bette A. Stevens" (28)

  1. Very nice poem, Bette. As an aside, once we were traveling with our children and stopped at a roadside spot where Monarchs were cruising about in droves. My girls wanted to use plastic containers to “catch” a couple. I let them capture a few, then asked what they were going to do with them because they would die in captivity. That made the girls think, and they decided to let the Monarchs go free. I believe the experience taught them a lesson.

    • What a thrill that must have been. I can picture it all right now. We were fortunate to visit millions of amazing monarchs aggregating (clustering for the winter along the California coast during the 1990s. When I was a little girl, I would capture them, put them in an empty mayo jar (lid pierced with holes by Mama), add some greenery and a twig, so I could observe them all day before setting them free before dinner. That was thrilling too! Have a wonderful day and thanks so much for sharing your Monarch story. 🙂

  2. We have a lovely new butterfly garden open here in Penang this summer. I thought of you when we took our kids to visit. It was wonderful, as is your poem! Thank you for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week.

    • Thank you, Tina. Sounds like the new butterfly garden is a perfect place to spend time and make memories with the kids on a lovely summer day. 🙂

  3. Delightful poem! Love the book, too, and will be giving it to my granddaughter very soon. 🙂

  4. I’ve always loved monarchs, even though they’re not as common here in California as they are in your neck of the woods. But we do get plenty of western tiger swallowtails, which are somewhat similar. I admit, I always feel a bit special when a butterfly circles me–and blessed when they land on me (usually while I’m sitting quietly by the American River). There’s nothing quite like their gentle daintiness. 🙂

    • I’ve been enraptured by butterflies since early childhood and still feel blessed by the mere sight of one of these amazing creatures. Have a wonderful weekend, Cathleen and thanks so much for stopping by for a visit! 🙂

  5. Hi Bette, I don’t see any butterflies here and last year I asked my daughter whether there are any butterflies here in California and she assured me I would see them in summer but nope!! none so far!!
    Loved your poem 🙂

    • Hi, Balroop. We were in California from 1994-2001 and loved it there. Monarchs from western Canada winter over at Pismo Beach and several other coastal towns, where they aggregate in the eucalyptus trees. It was thrilling to watch them each year. Hope you’ll get a chance to see these amazing monarchs and spot some other butterflies too. Thanks so much for visiting here today, my friend. Blessings! Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

  6. Lovely poem, Bette – I’m not seeing many monarch butterflies around here this year. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you, John. I’ve been chasing butterflies since late May and have gotten a few on camera, but we’re still waiting for the monarchs. It’s been a crazy summer. Very dry and we sure need some rain. Have a great week, my friend! 🙂

  7. Cute poem, Bette. And thanks for the Monarch update. I didn’t see many this summer. I need to plant more butterfly friendly flowers for next year. 🙂

  8. I loved the poem. It’s a scary summer. I rarely see any bugs–no ants, bees, butterflies, not even a lot of mosquitoes. I fear they sprayed for the Nika mosquitoes and killed everything else too. Even fewer birds and feral cats.

    • Thanks so much, Micki. Scary here too. The ground is so dry, gardens not producing like they should, and the robins left shortly after their spring arrival. In fact, Dan mentioned yesterday that the one advantage of this drought, is fewer mosquitoes and no one sprays insecticides here in the country. We’ve had several torrential showers, but no steady rains to replenish the ground water. It’s sure been a crazy summer. Have a great week, my dear friend! <3 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

  9. Reblogged this on mallie1025 and commented:
    Lovely poem

  10. Love your poem and the matching art, Bette. I’ll now share your post. Enjoy the rest of your summer. ❤️

  11. Such a beautiful poem, Bette, a perfect ode to a wondrous creature. We just got home from Maine – had a wonderful time eating lobster, wild blueberries, and selling books. The weather held until we left (although a bit warm, I thought!) and we plan to return for the Pumpkin Fest in Damariscotta in October to sell more of my third book. And eat lobster!

    • Thanks, Noelle. Glad to hear you’ve enjoyed your time in Maine and sold some books too. I’m looking forward to reading your latest! Hugs. <3 🙂

  12. I’ve seen some lovely butterflies out on the land and forest here in Sweden this year – now I need to buy a book so I can learn their names! Wishing you an amazing summer too, Bette, Can’t believe it’s already August, I’ve still got ten days left here though!

  13. We won’t start seeing them in Texas until sometime in September. 🙂 <3

  14. We didn’t see a single butterfly this season. I think the gypsy moths totally ruined the summer. I hope next year is better. And with the drought, nothing came up. I thought I had a good chance at them this year. I’ll order new seeds in the spring. Hopefully, we’ll have some water next year. I hope we get some rain THIS year.

    • What a crazy summer it’s been. The ground is as dry as talcum powder, fruit trees are dying despite the occasional torrential rains which merely rush down the roadsides. I’ve managed to spot and capture a few butterflies on camera, but no monarchs yet. The milkweed is already setting pods…way too early. It’s been a crazy summer all right. Hoping for plenty of steady rains before long. We need it! 🙂

  15. I have such good memories of monarchs — watching them emerge with my boys and then saying good bye to them as they fluttered away on their new wings!

    • Thanks for sharing those precious memories, Michele–both of monarchs and children May our children, so much like the monarchs, flourish and soar to great heights! Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ <3

Thanks so much for stopping by to join the conversation.

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