All over the greater Los Angeles area, Painted Lady butterflies dot the landscape. A few clusters greeted me on Saturday, a week after I spotted them while driving around town. 

Every time I see a stray butterfly or two going past my kitchen window, a little feeling of delight washes over me. It’s kind of like discovering mac and cheese for the first time as an eight-year-old.

illustration of palm trees and butterflies

A few days passed from my initial sighting before I asked the internet to explain what was happening. The mystery of the butterflies felt too good to unravel immediately. With more information, though, I just became more curious. How do they know to fly north? Perhaps the weather patterns? Questions I can probably look up online as well. But sometimes I prefer daydreaming and wondering.