The Place of the Dancing Butterflies!

We had a glorious day on our hands, and not wanting to waste an extra moment of it in the car, my husband and I decided to go someplace local to spend the afternoon. We have always found peace and butterflies up on Sandy Ridge, a place we used to go in the way-back-when. And so we packed up our books, our chairs, and a small cooler, and off we went.

The place we go has numerous milkweed fields for the butterflies. And I did see butterflies, some onesies and twosies of this and that. Spicebush swallowtail, buckeye, black swallowtail, fritillary, pearl crescent. We even saw a couple of monarchs, which are (sadly) as scarce this summer as I have ever seen.

The milkweed was not getting nearly as much action as the couple of bright pink thistle blooms along the edge of the field. And that's where the black butterflies went to dance. So I followed them there, and set up myself, my camera, and my monopod within a reasonable distance to get some photos. And oh, what a show they put on!

There was a pair of black butterflies - spicebush swallowtail, I think - dancing all around each other on the pink thistle blooms. They fluttered and swooped and chased each other, and in some cases, appeared to have become almost the same butterfly. Flitter flutter. Black on black.

In this photo, the front butterfly has just released its hold on a flower, and it is flying UPSIDE DOWN for the dismount. Look, Ma, no hands! And . . . bow to your partner now! I thought it looked like dancing!

My soundtrack song for this joyous moment - for one must seize the butterflies AND the day! - is this one: Lee Ann Womack, with I Hope You Dance. I am sitting in our backyard on one of our first COOL September mornings typing this, and a wild rabbit is sitting nearby in the shade totally enjoying the music! Oh, wait! A buck just ran through the backyard and scared the bunny into hiding! Wild kingdom out here, people. . . .  ;-)

Sending out peace, love, and butterflies from central Pennsylvania!

P.S. part the first. In my further adventures in Internetting, I received a notice that part of my Breck's fall bulb order has shipped. Upon clicking the tracking link, I learned this strange truth: my package was already delivered on June 23 to my home in California! Does anybody have an airplane ticket and a time machine so I may go retrieve it? *hearty laughter, but with an edge that's starting to sound a little hysterical*

P.S. part the second. On this day, the Nittany Lions had their first football game. I went to bed just before midnight, as they were losing. My husband had turned the TV off in disgust. Well, guess what: after I went to bed, like RIGHT AFTER, QB Clifford led an amazing drive down the field to score the winning touchdown! An excited crowd gathered in Beaver Canyon downtown, of course, and they were ordered by police to disperse. By 1:30, an "all clear" had been issued. And Nittany Nation went home and went to bed!

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