Monday, May 16, 2011

Puddling Spring Azures at a Hetch Hetchy Seep

We were blessed to encounter a large group of spring azures puddling at a seep in the Hetch Hetchy valley.



Male butterflies of many species often gather in large groups at muddy puddles or seeps to collect the salts concentrated at the water's edge. The salt collections are a "nuptial gift" that the male gives the female during mating.




Blues can be very difficult to identify, but spring azures are easy. On the underside of their wings, there are no "eye spots" or colored crescents, only thin dark dashes and curves. Also, spring azures are particularly common and love to puddle.



What a beautiful, quiet moment we had surrounded by hundreds of spring azures. The sun gently warmed the granite slope. Tiny multi-colored wildflowers dotted the mossy landscape. There were no crowds of people elbowing their way for a better view. There were no honking cars. All appointments canceled. All obligations filled.

Soon after this encounter, my poem "Upon Misidentifying a Blue" was accepted for publication by Connecticut River Review.  Now, I'm not saying that spring azures made it happen, but who can argue the results?


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