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  • Writer's pictureClaire Marie

Grotesque Beauty

Have you ever seen something that was both beautiful and grotesque at the same time?

Several years ago, Jeffrey Walter and I were roaming around in the mountains of northern Georgia and western North Carolina. We were on a dirt road (gee, imagine that) close to Tuni Gap in North Carolina. We were having fun, taking the curves and turns of the dirt road in stride. A typical mountain trip for us.

As we approached the top of the mountain, we saw something in the road and slowed down. There were butterflies everywhere – the blue and black kind – flitting back and forth. I had never seen so many at once and they were landing on something in the road – it was like something from a nature documentary you see on TV. So, so many butterflies!

As we approached, imagine our surprise when we realized that the black and shiny red object in the road was a rather large but dead snake. The butterflies were partaking of the nectar provided by the snake’s death, and it was fascinating! It is one of those images that is burned into your mind’s eye vividly – the stark contrasts of colors – the red, the black, the blue and the gravel gray.

Looking back all these years later, I kick myself for not having taken a picture. It is hard to describe how grotesque yet beautiful it was. Watching nature doing what nature does – using death to sustain life.

The Best I Can Do Without a Picture of My Own

Have you had a moment like that? Have you seen something that was both beautiful and grotesque at the same time? What do you remember most?

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