Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly

Now, that's an awfully funny name, isn't it, for a blue-blue butterfly?!?

The early part of Saturday was overcast, after several days of drenching rains. In mid-afternoon, the sky started to clear and the sun came out, giving us blue skies and beautiful puffy white clouds.

We hiked up the hill to the game land in late afternoon and visited some of our favorite places. The reflections of blue sky and clouds were as good as any I've ever seen. The waters were hopping and splooshing with amphibians. The mountain laurel (our state flower) was just starting to come into bloom.

We had an enjoyable visit, then turned our footsteps homeward. As we walked through the parking lot, my husband pointed out a medium-sized blue butterfly, flittering and fluttering around at the edge of the graveled area. It was a pretty calm butterfly, and I was able to approach quietly and snag a few shots.

The photo barely captures it, but the blues in this butterfly's wings are velvety and shiny. When they say the word iridescent, this is what they mean by it: deep, saturated, blues. I wished for a dress in this color. For shoes to match. (OK, so I admit I do have my girly moments; this was one of them.)

This butterfly is called a red-spotted purple. Its official name is Limenitis arthemis astyanax. Its territory includes most of the eastern part of the U.S. It is not by any means rare, but it is delightful to see one, with all those velvety, shining blues.

The song to accompany this picture is a country tune about a father's love for his daughter: Bob Carlisle, Butterfly Kisses.

All the precious time
Like the wind, the years go by.
Precious butterfly.
Spread your wings and fly.

A Dedication: I dedicate this song and photo to my father, whose 83rd birthday occurred this past week. Some of you who are longtime followers of my photo blog may recall we nearly lost him last summer - he had open heart surgery in August to remove some major blockages, and I wrote about that here - but he has made a wonderful recovery since then, and we thank God for his life! Blue is his favorite color, and I think he would enjoy this blue butterfly.

Happy birthday, Dad, from one of your little girls, your "doll-babies," as you call us. I love you and wish you many more happy and healthy years with us.

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