The Butterfly Party

So far this year, we'd already gone swimming at Bald Eagle State Park and Whipple Dam. So we decided to visit Greenwood Furnace for the first swim there of the year. You could have sworn somebody had been dumping ice cubes into the lake, the water was that cold.

I will say this: the chill was daunting (and I'm not usually one to complain). But you get used to it once you are in. It's refreshing; you could say that. And you might be saying that through chattering teeth!

I noticed a little area on the sandy beach where a large group of tiger swallowtail butterflies were puddling. They would all group together on the ground and sort of tap-dance and wiggle around, occasionally lifting into the air in a golden cloud as somebody walked by, then settling back down again.

This behavior is performed primarily by male butterflies who are obtaining nutrients from the wet sand. I've read that it may be salts (among other things) that they are after, and that salt may even be a sort of "gift" that the male transfers to the female during mating.

But what did it look like to the casual observer? Why, it looked like a butterfly party! And so here's a party song to go with this posting, for butterflies who might want to party like it's 1999. The song: Prince, with 1999.

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