Today there was little bit of a drama - I had to play butterfly saviour! I know right? Not something I expected to have be doing. Fortunately I didn't have to don a cape or mask to do it.
I love butterflies, they are one of my favourite things, so when I saw a beautiful small tortoiseshell caught on a spider's web, clearly in distress, it was heartbreaking.
The poor little thing was fluttering around, dangling from this one long, sticky strand. It kept trying to fly off; but it was well and truly stuck. You never realise how strong spider's webs are until you see a butterfly pulling against it with all its might.
I got all Dr Doolittle on the butterfly. I had to cut most of the web away with scissors because it was so sticky, terrified the whole time of hurting it, cutting it's wing or antennae; but fortunately the butterfly was sitting quietly by now.
I carried it on a leaf to a nice sunny windowsill, literally the only place the setting sun still reached. I left it there; but went back to check on it a little late. The butterfly had moved off the leaf and onto the ledge, wings outstretched, soaking up the sunshine. It looked peaceful and I could see it fanning the warmth onto itself.
I couldn't bring myself to go back and check on it again though. Part of me is desperate to know it's flown away safely, the other part doesn't want to find out that the trauma was too much and it died.
I've no idea how people could collect butterflies, all I wanted was for this gorgeous living creature to fly free. It was so full of struggle and determination to survive. I really hope it did.
Image courtesy of dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Claire Wade is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and author of The Choice. She was bed bound for six years with severe ME, trapped in a body that wouldn't do what she wanted. She now writes about women who want to break free from the constraints of their lives, a subject she's deeply familiar with.