Words from the Master
One of the difficulties about trying to write about butterflies is that one of the 20th century's literary stars was also a lepidopterist. In addition to writing such works as Lolita and Pale Fire, Vladmir Nabokov was a highly respected entomologist who has named several species of butterflies and, in turn, has had species named after him. An entire chapter of his autobiography is devoted to butterflies and collecting. The chapter ends with one of my favorite passages. It describes very closely the sensations that I was experiencing in the field yesterday, but with a clarity of prose that I can't even approach.
[T]he highest enjoyment of timelessness- in a landscape selected at random- is when I stand among rare butterflies and their food plants. This is ecstasy, and behind the ecstacy is something else, which is hard to explain. It is like a momentary vacuum into which rushes all that I love. A sense of oneness with sun and stone. A thrill of gratitude to whom it may concern- to the contrapuntal genius of human fate or to tender ghosts humoring a lucky mortal.