In late 2012, I was contacted by the owner of Millennium Custom Rods. “I love your photo fly-fishing in a sundress and I would like to build a fly rod for you”. “You need only pay for components and have your photo taken fishing with the rod” he said. So began one of David Norton’s “Labor of Love” custom rods.
A perfectionist with his art of custom rod building,David was not satisfied with his work until he felt the wraps, Uschi and artwork came together perfectly, which took well over a month to complete.
I chose the name Siren’s Song to be put on the pink wrapped shaft of the rod. Water Sirens from Greek Mythology were Daughters of the river God Achelous. Sometimes referred to as Water Nymphs, which fit perfectly with hand-tied water nymphs used in fly-fishing.
I took Siren’s Song first to the headwaters of the Missouri River where with the help and guidance of a friend and seasoned river guide and one of his special hand-tied flies, I was shortly rewarded with a fat twenty-three inch trophy Brown trout. That catch and release trout was by all means Millennium Custom Rod photo-worthy in and of itself, yet a much grandeur tribute to Siren’s Song was soon to follow.
In late summer, I had the idea to set up my Siren’s Song rod for a photo in front of Grave Creek, a pretty little stream just a few miles from home. I did a little wade-fishing, then set my rod up against a rock and took several photos.
I picked up my fishing bag and without breaking down my rod, started back along the trail to my vehicle. I had walked but a few yards, when I decided to exchange my wading boots for tennis shoes. I had no sooner sat Siren’s Song down, when five small butterflies came fluttering over, landing on my fishing bag and rod. I watched them as they seemed to dance on my fishing bag appraising Siren’s Song. While snapping photos, I put my hand out expecting the delicate orange and black butterflies to fly off. Amazingly, they landed on my fingers moving from one to another. I felt a moment of absolute joy and delight as these bright and beautiful gifts of nature danced from one finger to another, leaving my fingers briefly to light on my rod, and then back to my fingers again. After a few minutes, they fluttered away to land on some bright yellow wild daisies nearby. At this point I figured the party was over, gathered up my gear, and finished my walk down the trail.
When I returned home, I up-loaded the creek side photos. I was intrigued by the last photo in particular, and cropped it in tight. The butterfly seemed to be captivated by the bright colors of the Uschi in the rod handle. Every time I look at this photo, I re-live the joy of the moments I was blessed to be a part of..
It can take caterpillars two years or longer to mature before spinning a cocoon in which they miraculously transform from an insignificant insect into the graceful and colorful creatures that inspired folklore and fairy tales. Some butterflies live only hours, or a few days. Just long enough to mate, lay their eggs and die. Recently, I did a search on the symbolism of Butterflies. I found Christian cultures believed Butterflies represented Guardian Angles being near, while the North American Indians thought butterflies to be messengers from the spirit world. Butterflies are representative of happiness. The more you chase happiness the more it eludes you. When you finally realize true happiness comes from within, and is found in how you choose to view life, it finds you. Perhaps if human beings were only given a few days to live, they would better appriciate the beauty of all we are blessed to be a part of in this glorious world.
I cropped in closer, and turned the photo upside-down. To me the design on the wings looked much like stained glass angel wings.
David Norton puts his heart and soul into the “works of art” rods he builds (as testified to me by five Guardian Angel Butterflies), which I had the great pleasure of spending a few precious minutes with out of their brief flights of freedom).