The air around Oh Valley is sticky with humidity. Dragonflies, like all winged insects, find flying in humid conditions difficult and avoid it if possible. The moisture in the air sticks to their wings and they are unable to fly distances that they travel easily on drier days. All the Fancifulls are at the in relaxing until the heavy air lifts, when  they will pick up where they left off without straining themselves.

Bradley Butterfly lives in Waterville, a small village over the big hills (Gatineau Hills) not far from Oh Valley. He works as one of the region’s best Salesflyers. It is his job to ensure every mailbox on his route is stuffed with its fair share of advertising flyers. Now you know how they all get there!

Bradley is very outgoing and gregarious Mini Butterfly. He’s preparing of his future while he’s young and single. Along with his full time position, he also works part time for Pollenty Bee US introducing a revolutionary new product. He travels to all the communities in his district to introduce a product he knows will change the daily lives of flying insects everywhere. 

Pollenty Bee US, has been researching how to mechanically transfer pollen from one plant to another to help in the pollination of plants. They have developed a pollen extractor that will help colony and solitary bees do their jobs more efficiently and easily. With declining bee populations, this may be a way to ensure a food source until populations increase and stabilize again. Incidentally, other flying insects pollinate flower blooms but they have their own jobs to support the community. Bradley’s teeny-weeny briefcase is packed full with these little devices to show to potential buyers. What do you think a pollen extractor look like? Can you draw a picture of one and send it to me?

This morning, Bradley was heading to Berrytown by way of Oh Valley. He set off early, without checking the weather prognosticator’s report. Being a Butterfly, he has more wing surface than a Dragonfly and lacks their power. Flying soon became difficult and Bradley decided to stop in Oh Valley for a room at the Insect Inn until the low-pressure system passed. Of course there was a spare room at the Inn. There’s always room at The Magical Insect Inn. That’s one of the reasons it is named, The Magical Insect Inn.

Once Bradley had unpacked, he checked out the common lounge where many of the Fancifulls were playing board games like Clue, Snakes and Ladders and Crokinole – prounounced, “Croak- in- ol(d)”. He is a very good Crokinole player in Waterville, and finishes quite high in the standings during their semi-annual tournament. He has a special technique for aiming the disc, causing it to glide precisely to the centre hole and drop flat. When he has the opportunity to use this technique, he always scores a ’20.’ He doesn’t get to shoot at the centre hole often because of other rules in the game preventing him from aiming at it while opponents discs are in play…. but when he does get a shot, he makes it count!

By the early evening, the board games have been returned to their shelves and some older Fancifulls have retired to their rooms for a nap before a late dinner in the dining hall. Bradley is glad the weather has cleared significantly. The pressure is rising and humidity clearing out. He will continue his trip tomorrow. For now, however, he’s having such fun with his new friends. He accepted an invitation to go on an expedition around The Valley. After running to his room for his camera he found that all the Fancifulls, save one, had gone on ahead. Only Bianca was waiting for him.

They quickly caught up to the others and together, dozens of Fancifulls, Dragonflies, Butterflies, Ladybugs, Bumble Bees, Grasshoppers, and Moths, all flew over and around the sites, some Fancifulls were eating as they flew.

What could be more fun? Sight-seeing while munching on mosquitoes plucked from the air as they errantly flew by. Early evening air produces the best darn mosquitoes… so tasty, many with their bellies full. (I’ll say it for you…. Ewww, GROSS!) They stopped for a rest and drink at a mighty river that cuts through Oh Valley. It’s appropriately named the Oh River.

Bradley really likes the look and feel of this place. It suits him well…. and he especially likes Bianca. She’s quite funny and says the most amusing AND interesting things. She makes him think about things he’s never thought about before, so busy working and preparing for a future. Bianca’s ideas, expressed so eloquently, cause him to rethink his own notions. He likes to listen to her as she explains how everyone interacts to sustain a healthy and thriving community. She was born in Oh Valley and has traveled to larger communities but never feels the same supportiveness and inclusiveness, the same camaraderie, in those places that she feels here. She explains to him how lucky she feels to call Oh Valley Home and hopes to always live here.


Oh Valley skyline

Bradley thinks he may stop here more often on his business trips even if the weather isn’t foul. He hopes Bianca will be home when he drops in.

Come back to find out more about Bianca in my post next Sunday. Until then, maybe get your crayons out and draw a picture of a “pollen extractor.” I’d like to see it when I meet you in person. I will be at the Lanark County Highland Games Saturday August 24th, 2019 in Almonte, Ontario.

At this outdoor event,  I will be assembling Dragonfly Fancifulls for those who wish to contribute to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario – (CHEO).  You are able to purchase your own DARBY, DIXIE, DELTA, DINAH, or DEXTER with $5.00 of your purchase price going directly to CHEO. A special glass bead, metallic turquoise, will be wound into its bindings.  8AM to 6PM – Almonte Fair Grounds. No other Dragonfly Fancifulls will ever have a turquoise bead attached to them. Twist my arm and I may add more than one… or two. 🙂 We raised $265.15 cents at the Glengarry games. Why fifteen cents, you ask?  A toddler of 3 wanted to make her own contribution to help sick children. She had fifteen cents to her name and donated it all to CHEO. People are grand… especially little people!


Bianca posing for Bradley on their excursion

Bradley trying to hide in the Hosta. He likes to be behind the camera but Bianca insisted.


*** Bradley in Toronto – We spoke on the phone from my day job and I wanted to include your name in my Bumble Bee collection next year. But why wait? Bradley, you are now a Butterfly – with the personality I asked you to stipulate – outgoing. I will strive to keep Bradley true to his origins… and thank your parents for me. Bradley is a super name!

*** Bianca – You are an employee that works for the same company that currently employs me. I had forgotton how lovely I thought your name was the first time I heard it – 1990’s Soap Opera, All My Children, Erica Kane’s daughter. I’m glad we chatted this week. I will endeavour to create funny story lines for Bianca as you selected that trait for Bianca. Thank-you for having such a lovely name.

Until next time, 

Sue, Axie and the Fancifulls of Oh Valley