Monday, May 21, 2012

Butterfly Magic

Hackberry Butterfly,
The Hackberry Butterflies are now out, almost a month early. These butterflies that gather in crowds usually come out around midsummer.

Not only are they out early this year, but they are out in the largest numbers that I have ever seen.

They cover the gravel road. They cover the driveway. Every pile of dung left by wild animal or tame is covered with little brown butterflies seeking moisture. Crowds of butterflies hang out on the concrete floor of our porch once the sun has warmed it in the morning until the shade has cooled it in early evening.

Whenever I water the plants on the porch they cluster on the soil and around spilled puddles, seeking moisture. They land on my bare arms, and I can feel them probing with their probosci, seeking moisture from my sweat.

When I walk out my back door, a cloud of butterflies rises around me. Yes, there is something magical about that. I want to take flight, as well.

But, then, I must be quick about going back inside, or several fluttering things will stumble through the opening. Sometimes they hitchhike in on me, or whatever I happen to be carrying. This can be slightly annoying.

However, I prefer to focus on the magic of being surrounded by hundereds of fluttering wings. The clouds of butterflies appear suddenly, are here briefly, then are gone.

While the hackberry butterfly is not unattractive, it is rather drably colored. They don't pose prettily on flowers, but on driveways and concrete and piles of dung. They impress by their sheer numbers, not by their colorful beauty.

So, I leave you with a photo of a more brightly colored fritillary posing in a sea of lavender.

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